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Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519)

Lifespan: 1400s - 1500s

Related: 1500s - Italian art - Renaissance - Mona Lisa (c. 1506-1507)

Interest in Leonardo has increased recently with Dan Brown's popular novel The Da Vinci Code (2003), and its movie adaptation released on May 19, 2006.

Almost precisely the contemporary of Hieronymus Bosch, that emblem of the Middle Ages, Leonardo da Vinci epitomizes the Renaissance with its lighthearted classicist life-affirming qualities. [May 2006]

In 1476, Leonardo da Vinci was accused anonymously of sodomy with a 17 year-old model, Jacopo Saltarelli, a youth already known to the authorities for his sexual escapades with men. After two months in jail, he was acquitted, allegedly because no witnesses stepped forward, but actually on the strength of his father's respected position. For some time afterwards, Leonardo and the others were kept under observation by Florence's Officers of the Night - a Renaissance organization charged with suppressing the practice of sodomy. [May 2006]

Mona Lisa (c. 1506-1507) - Leonardo da Vinci

The Mona Lisa can both be regarded as a work of high art and an example of kitsch. The mass-reproducibility of works of art has given birth to the concept of kitsch. [Apr 2006]


Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 May 2, 1519) was an Italian Renaissance architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, geometer, and painter. He has been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man" and as a universal genius. Leonardo is famous for his masterly paintings, such as The Last Supper and Mona Lisa. He is also known for designing many inventions that anticipated modern technology but were rarely constructed in his lifetime. In addition, he helped advance the study of anatomy, astronomy, and civil engineering. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci [Jun 2005]

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