CultureFrom antiquity until the 16th century, Italy was at the center of Western culture, fulcrum or origin of the Etruscan civilization, Ancient Rome, Humanism and the Renaissance. Italy is home to the greatest number of Unesco World Heritage Sites and to half the world's great art treasures: Architecture, Sculpture, Cinema and Theatre, Language and Literature, Music, Science, Visual Art.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519, was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother...
By 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine, but even after his father set him up in his own workshop, his attachment to Verrocchio...
Some 20 years after Leonardo's death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benevenuto Cellini as saying: "There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo...
Personal life Within Leonardo's lifetime, his extraordinary powers of in-vention, his "outstanding physical beauty", "infinite grace", "great strength and generosity", "regal spirit and tremen-dous breadth of mind" as described by Vasari...
Within Leonardo's own lifetime his fame was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy and was claimed to have supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died. Interest in Leonardo has never diminished.
Early works Leonardo's early works begin with the Baptism of Christ painted in conjunction with Verrocchio. Two other paintings appear to date from his time at the workshop, both of which are Annunciations.
Observation and invention Renaissance humanism recognized no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work.
Paintings of the 1490s. Leonardo's most famous painting of the 1490s is The Last Supper, painted for the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan. The painting represents the last meal shared by Jesus with his disciples before his capture...
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, officially known in Italian as Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City.
StatusThe Basilica of St. Peter is one of four Papal Basilicas or Major Basi-licas of Rome the others being the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul out-side the Walls.
The plan to rebuild. By the end of the 15th century, having been neglected during the period of the Avignon Papacy, the old basilica was in bad repair.
Michelangelo's contribution Michelangelo took over a building site at which four piers, enormous beyond any constructed since ancient Roman times, were rising behind the remaining nave of the old basilica.
Michelangelo and Giacomo della Porta, 1547 and 1585Michelangelo redesigned the dome in 1547, taking into account all that had gone before. His dome, like that of Florence...
A drawing by Michelangelo indica-tes that his early intentions were towards an ovoid dome, rather than a hemispherical one.
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