LEONARDO DA VINCI
* 15th April 1452 in Anchiano, today Italy
† 2nd May 1519 in Amboise, today France
Leonardo di ser Piero, better known to the world as Leonardo da Vinci, was an artist, natural scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor, and musician. Leonardo not only created numerous works of art, but also a large number of designs for buildings, machinery, art objects, paintings, and sculptures. He left many artistically valuable illustrations on various topics such as biology, anatomy, technology, weaponry, water management, and architecture, as well as buildings, technical installations, and observations of the Cosmos. His very precise drawings relating to anatomy and the natural sciences are particularly significant. Towards the end of his life, he was already revered as „uomo universale“ (Italian for “universal man“) and is still considered one of the most extraordinary geniuses of all time.
His most famous works of art include The Last Supper on the façade of the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and The Mona Lisa, which has been exhibited at the Louvre in Paris since 1804.
Da Vinci’s sexual orientation is controversial. He was never married, and never had a known relationship with a woman. He was accused of having sexual contact with a male prostitute. He may have had a relationship with his pupil Salai. The first da Vinci biographer theorised that The Mona Lisa actually depicts a man. The name “Mona Lisa” is an anagram of “mon Salai“ – “my Salai.”