Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci   

There are lots of different art activities to do at the bottom of this information on Leonardo.                                                                

Famous da Vinci quotes:

"He who thinks little, errs much."

“Learn how to see. Realise that everything is connected to everything else.”

Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and died in 1519, aged 67. His surname "da Vinci" means "of Vinci", the Tuscan town in Italy where he was born. He lived during the Renaissance, which was a time of important changes in art and science.

Leonardo da Vinci is best known as a painter. Two of his pictures are among the best-known paintings in the world, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.


As a young boy, he was either sketching or investigating everything around him. At fourteen, he was sent to train to be an artist by the sculptor and painter Verrocchio, who is reported to have said he would never paint again when he saw how talented Leonardo was! In Verrocchio’s studio, he learnt technical skills including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing and sculpting. He then spent most of his life working for rich Italian noblemen. He was a talented musician and when he played on a silver harp, he had designed himself, the Duke of Milan was so impressed he asked Leonardo to work for him. In Leonardo’s last years, he worked for the Pope and then the King of France, who gave him a beautiful castle to live in! It is said that the King become such close friends with Leonardo that as he died the King held him in his arms!


Many people think that Leonardo da Vinci was the most talented person ever to have lived. Leonardo wanted to know how everything worked. He wasn't just an artist, he was an inventor, scientist, mathematician, engineer, writer, musician, architect and sculptor! Leonardo can be described as a polymath, a person who excels in many things particularly art and science. His drawings included detailed maps, plans for a calculator, solar power, a parachute, a telephone, a water mill, war machines, boats, musical instruments and more…

Play this interactive game to find out what went on inside da Vinci’s head! https://www.rct.uk/resources/game-inside-the-amazing-mind-of-leonardo-da-vinci-childrens-activity


 He was also fascinated with the anatomy of the body and was one of the first people to studying it in detail and creating hundreds of drawings. He studied the human body in great depth, in fact in more detail than the doctors of his time! He is considered by many to be the father of modern science. His drawing, the Vitruvian Man shows how the human proportions and geometry are linked.

Make Leonardo’s skeleton drawings dance by answering these quiz questions. https://www.rct.uk/resources/interactive-the-dancing-skeleton-childrens-activity


Leonardo was celebrated as a painter, but only completed about 20 paintings! This is because he painted very slowly, often just staring at his work in thought. He was easily distracted by new ideas. He was one of the first Italians to use oil paint, but he also loved to experiment with new techniques, many of which were unsuccessful. For his famous wall painting of the Last Supper, he coated the wall with a new waterproof undercoat, but before he had finished the painting started to flake off the wall!


As a sculptor, he designed a huge, bronze statue of the Duke of Milan on horseback. He got as far as making it in clay, but he took so long that a war had started and the invading troops blew it up!


Leonardo was a vegetarian and loved animals. He would buy caged birds so he could set them free. It is said that he wore pink to make his complexion look fresh! When he died his assistant inherited everything as he had no children.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaV0Sd7DUns