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Who Was Leonardo da Vinci

Roberta Edwards

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Leonardo's father a well-to-do merchant; his mother a peasant girl. They didn't marry, each went off to marry a different partner, neither of them wanting Leonardo. He was basically brought up by grandparents and a sympathetic uncle. One thing his father did provide was plenty of paper for him to draw on, at a time when paper was expensive. And, since L's illegitimacy barred him from most professions, his father arranged for L to apprentice to a famous artist named Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence.

Early 1400's Medici Florence was a peak time for artists supported by the wealthy merchant class.

This was pre-oil paints and pre-canvas. Artists used tempera, and egg-based paint. They painted on a flat piece of wood, boiled to prvent cracking, then a coat of glue, then finaslly a thin plaster called gesso, which provided a smooth surface to paint.

L wrote about 13,000 pages of notebook entries, of which about 6000 remain.

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