Leonardo da Vinci Facts
Leonardo da Vinci Facts

31 Innovative Leonardo da Vinci Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published November 17, 2023
  • Leonardo da Vinci's parents were not married when he was born. His father, Ser Peiro, was a notary and landlord in Florence. His mother, Caterina, was a young peasant girl who later married an artisan. Leonardo grew up with his father.[2]
  • While Leonardo most likely primarily painted and wrote with his left hand, he was also ambidextrous.[2]
  • Leonardo's full name at birth was "Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci," which means "Leonardo (son) of ser Piero from Vinci."[2]
  • Bill Gates owns Leonardo da Vinci's "Codex Leicester." He paid $30.8 million for the masterpiece, which makes it the most expensive book ever sold. The book is a collection of Leonardo's scientific writings and is named after Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester.[2]
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Fact and Birthplace
    Vinci is surrounded by hills, fields, vineyards, and olive trees
  • Because Leonardo had no surname, "da Vinci" simply means "of Vinci," which is a village in the Tuscany region.[2]
  • Because Leonardo was an illegitimate child, he had more freedom than a legitimate son, who was expected to follow in his father's footsteps.[2]
  • Leonardo loved word games, codes, and puzzles.[2][4]
  • One of Leonardo's jobs was to dissect human corpses at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nouva in France. His knowledge of anatomy informed his over 200 pages of drawings.[5]
  • The Mona Lisa is also known as La Gioconda. The portrait is of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, hence her Italian name, La Gioconda.[2]
  • Leonardo had 17 half-siblings. Specifically, he had 12 from his father and 5 from his mother.[5]
  • According to face recognition software, the Mona Lisa is 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, and 2% angry.[5]
  • As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.

    - Leonardo da Vinci

  • The Mona Lisa has the highest value for painting insurance ever.[2]
  • The Last Supper is not in a museum; it is in the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.[2]
  • Leonardo died in France on May 2, 1519, at the age of 67 from a stroke. He left his drawings and notebooks to his pupil Francesco Melzi. Most of the drawings have survived to this day.[2]
  • Leonardo Di Caprio is named after Leonardo da Vinci.[2]
  • Leonardo da Vinci was gifted in music, and according to historical accounts, "he sang divinely without any preparation."[6]
  • Leonardo da Vinci is widely regarded as the founder of the High Renaissance and revolutionized Western art.[2]
  • Vitruvius Facts
    Leonardo's Vitruvian Man was inspired by the writings of the Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius

  • Leonardo's Last Supper is the most widely reproduced religious painting of all time.[3]
  • The most expensive painting ever sold at public auction is Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, at $450.3 million.[1]
  • When the French army invaded Milan in 1499, they destroyed Leonardo's  masterpiece in progress, a 200-foot sculpture of a horse. Intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, the project was only a clay model when the army used it as target practice. 
  • Leonardo's IQ is said to have been around 220.[7]
  • Da Vinci died at Cloux (Clos-Luce) in 1519 at the age of 67. He was buried near the church of Saint-Florentin. However, the church was destroyed during the French Revolution, and it became impossible to identify his grave.[2]
  • Leonardo imagined many innovations ahead of his time, such as the parachute, an armored car, a helicopter, concentrated solar power, and more.[5]
  • For Leonardo, sight was the most important of the senses, and he adopted a process known as saper vedere or "knowing how to see."[8]
  • saper vedere Fact
    Do you know how to see?

  • When Leonardo was 60 years old, he created a self-portrait with red chalk. Even though it has been extensively reproduced and is considered an iconic representation of Leonardo, some historians disagree about the true identity of the portrait.[5]
  • Despite filling thousands of pages of anatomical drawings, inventions, caricatures, annotations, and topics from multidisciplinary studies, Leonardo did not publish one page.[2]
  • Leonardo, along with some of his male friends, were arrested on charges of sodomy, which was punishable by death in Florence during the 15th century.[5]
  • Leonardo Facts and animals
    As a child, Leonardo lived with animals on a farm, and they were a constant presence in his studio
  • Leonardo loved animals. He was a vegetarian and sometimes bought caged birds to let them free.[4]
  • Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were contemporaries and rivals. Leonardo made fun of Michelangelo's overly muscular sculptures, while Michelangelo commented on Leonardo's inability to finish projects.[5]
  • Leonardo designed a silver lyre and a mechanical drum. He considered music the "sister of painting" because they both create harmony. For Leonardo, painting was superior because it lasted longer than music.[8]
  • While other mapmakers of his time would draw more important buildings larger than they were in real life, Leonardo revolutionized map-making by basing them on his knowledge of geometry and proportion.[5]
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