Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

From science to painting and engineering to human anatomy, Leonardo da Vinci was widely considered a Universal Genius due to how many important discoveries and inventions he achieved across so many different fields.

Growing up in Florence in the 1500s, in the midst of the Florentine Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci had the extraordinary talent of confronting complex problems and taking on ambitious projects, chasing, for example, the dream of flying, a recurring human thought since ancient times.

We have always admired his revolutionary thoughts by which he imagined a world entirely governed by mechanical principles.

In our Museum, after years of studies and scientific research inspired by the creation of his famous machines, we have highlighted the unity of his thinking by reconstructing some of his most incredible ideas.


Some of his famous paintings

The Mona Lisa

1503 – 1506

The Mona Lisa shows a woman with a thoughtful expression and a slight smile. It was created from 1503 to 1506. Today it is actually kept at the Louvre Museum in Paris where it is undoubtedly the museum’s main attraction. It is probable the woman is Mona Lisa Gherardini, a courtesan from the small rural nobility that reigned from the end of the 14th century to the beginning of the 15th century.

The Lady with the Ermine

1488 – 1490

In the top left is the apocryphal writing, “LA BELE FERONIERE LEONARDO DA VINCI.”

It is a portrait of  Cecilia Gallerani, one of the lovers of Duke Ludovico Sforza, the protector of Leonardo in Milan, in which Ludovico had the ermine as a heraldic emblem. For its white hair, the animal was considered a symbol of purity. While the background seems void, X-rays have since proved that behind the shoulder of the women a windows was painted.

Baptism of Christ

1473 – 1478

“The Baptism of Christ” is a painting from the work of Verrocchio but Leonardo painted the angel that holds the tunic, in the bottom left.

The first to mention Leonardo’s participation in this piece by Verrocchio was Giorgio Vasari. All the parts executed in oil belong to Leonardo: the face of the angel in profile and some curls of the other angel.

Belle Ferronière

1490 – 1495

The title this painting is universally known by is “La Belle Ferronnière” (“the beautiful wife of the hardware merchant”) but this is an incorrect title that resulted from a mistake in the 1700s, during inventorying, it was confused with another portrait of a lady. The identity of the woman was flipped between the same Cecilia Gallerani, Elisabetta Gonzaga and Lucrezia Crivelli.

A Timeline of Leonardo’s Life


He is born April 15th in Achiano, a small town near Florence, illegitimate son of Notary Ser Piero and Caterina, a woman of humble origins.


He moves to Florence with his dad.


He begins as an apprentice in the workshop of the illustrious painter, Verrocchio.


He collaborates to create the angel on the left of the painting, “The Baptism of Christ” of Verrocchio.


He enrolls at the company of painters of San Luca, and starts his career as an independent artist.


He works on the altarpiece “The Adoration of the Magi,” around the Church of San Donato in Scopeto, a job that remains unfinished.


He is hired by the Lordship of Milan from Duke Ludovico il Moro. He studies engineering and architecture, painting and drawing.


He studies for the creation of the monumental “Equestrian Statue”. He creates only the terracotta model, then it is destroyed by the French with the invasion of Milan in 1499.


He creates the painting of Cecilia Gallerani, the lover of Ludovico il Moro, known as “The Lady with the Ermine”.


He works on “The Last Supper”, with a fresco technique in particular. The work will deteriorate after just a few years.


He returns to Florence where he is painting the Sant’Anna in the Church of the Annunciation.


Leonardo begins to serve Cesare Borgia as a military engineer.

1502 - 1505

Together with Michelangelo he decorates the hall of the Palazzo Vecchio: the mural illustrates the battle of Anghiari but it would never be finished. He worked to create the “Mona Lisa.”

1506 - 1513

He moves again to Milan under the invitation of Charles d’Amboise, the new governor of Milan. He resumes his studies of flight, physics, optics and hydraulic engineering. In Pavia, he resumes his studies of anatomy and dissections of cadavers.

1513 - 1516

He moves to Rome under the invitation of Giuliano de Medici. He see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and continues his studies of geometry and hydraulic engineering.


He was nominated as top painter, engineer and architect by King Francesco I, and he moves to the Cloux Castle at Amboise.


He dies May 2nd in Cloux, leaving manuscripts, designs and instruments to his student Francesco Melzi. His other paintings are mysteriously never mentioned.

Fun Facts of Leonardo da Vinci

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