Leonardo da Vinci (artist, scientist and thinker) was born in or near Vinci, Italy in 1452. He demonstrated an artistic talent at a young age. At seventeen, he began an apprenticeship in Andrea Verrocchio's workshop, remaining there until he had far surpassed the talents of the early Renaissance master. It is said that Verrocchio was so impressed with Leonardo’s talent that he gave up painting and entrusted this side of his business to Leonardo. Leonardo then left Florence for the court of Ludovico Sforza in Milan, where he painted portraits, created The Last Supper fresco and also started producing anatomical, botanical, and scientific sketches (many of which survive today). He pursued art as if it were science, studying both the surface and structure of his subjects. Leonardo returned to Florence excited by the artistic renaissance. Here he created his masterpieces - the Mona Lisa, the Leda and the Swan (now lost). Many of Leonardo's commissions were never completed and several experimental frescoes no longer exist. What have survived are many of his experimental procedures, sketches, and theories. Leonardo da Vinci's legacy affirms his position at the pinnacle of High Renaissance art.
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