1452 Born in or near Vinci, Italy
Apprenticed to Verrocchio in Florence.
Joins the Florentine Guild of Artists. Paints the angel on the left in Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ. Probable date of his painting of the Annunciation.
1478 Begins painting the Benois Madonna. Earliest drawings of war machinery.
1481 Commissioned by the monks of San Donato at Scopeta to paint The Adoration of the Magi. Writes a letter of self-recommendation to Ludovico Sforza.
c.1482 Leaves Florence for Milan. Begins keeping his notebooks.
1483 Commissioned to paint The Virgin of the Rocks.
1489 Earliest sheet of anatomical drawings, dated by Leonardo as 5th of April that year.
Paints Portrait of a Musician.
1493 Completes clay model of The Great Horse for Ludovico Sforza.
1495 Begins The Last Supper.
1499 The French invade Milan. Leonardo leaves for venice and then Florence.
1502 Employed by Cesare Borgia.
Commissioned to do the fresco of The Battle of Anghiari. Sometime between 1503 and 1506 he paints the Mona Lisa.
Returns to Milan.
c.1508-10 Paints The Virgin and Child with St Anne
1512 Probable date of Leonardo's self-portrait.
1512-13 French expelled from Milan; moved to Rome.
1516-17 Leaves Italy for France on the death of Giuliano de' Medici. Is given the gift of the Castle at Cloux, Amboise. Receives a visit form the Cardinel of Aragon to whom he shows his last works.
1519 Leonardo dies at Cloux, France on May 2nd.

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Leonardo da Vinci epitomised the genius and diversity of achievements that we associate with the Italian Renaissance. The range of his accomplishments was astonishing, for he was an anatomist, engineer, mathematician, naturalist and philosopher, as well as a painter, sculptor and architect. In fact far more is known about his thought and the great range of his mind than of the events and circumstances of his life, especially its early stages.

The location of Leonardo's birth is questionable. Some say Vinci (about 50km west of Florence), others believe Anchiano (near Vinci). He was the illegitimate son of Ser Piero da Vinci, a Florentine notary, and Caterina, a peasant woman. It is unknown as to whether he spent the first years of his life with his mother or father. Records show, however, that by the time he was five years old he was living with his father and stepmother, Albiera who was at that stage childless.

Leonardo da Vinci : 1452-1519

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All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.—Leonardo da Vinci