An Oil sketch or oil study is an artwork made in oil paint in preparation for a larger, finished work. These were created as preparatory studies or modelli so as to gain approval for the design of a larger commissioned painting, they were used as designs for specialists in other media, such as printmaking or tapestry, to follow. They were produced as independent works with no thought of being expanded into a full-size painting; the usual medium for modelli was the drawing, but an oil sketch if done in a limited range of colours, could better suggest the tone of the projected work. It is possible to more convey the flow and energy of a composition in paint. For a painter with exceptional technique, the production of an oil sketch may be as rapid as that of a drawing, many practitioners had superb brush skills. In its rapidity of execution the oil sketch may be used not only to express movement and transient effects of light and color, its gestural nature may represent a mimetic parallel to the action of the subject.
One of the earliest artists to produce oil sketches was Polidoro da Caravaggio, a fine draftsman and pupil of Raphael, but not one who had passed through the traditional Florentine training, with its emphasis on drawing. His are all related to works done on a larger scale, are themselves large and on panel, with examples in the National Gallery and Courtauld Institute of Art being 75 and 65 cm tall respectively. Sometimes a number of sketches for the same composition have survived. In the early 17th century the oil sketch became used, as it was suited to conveying the drama of Baroque art. Rubens made great use of them, as working studies, as modelli for clients, his own assistants and tapestry-makers, their degree of finish varies accordingly. Rubens' working practices influenced others, such as Anthony van Dyck, who did not use oil sketches for the portraits that were the bulk of his output, but did for his print series the Iconographie, for other works such as a projected series of tapestries and some religious paintings.
The Magistrate of Brussels, recognised in England in 2013, may be a Van Dyck portrait oil sketch. The first to produce oil sketches as independent works was Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, an amazingly fecund generator of compositions on a small range of subjects, he grew up and trained in Genoa, had contact with both Rubens and Van Dyck during their stays there. He produced a large number of small works on paper, in a mixture of mediums - drawings or gouaches finished in oil, oils with pen details - in fact, most possible permutations. Detail is restricted to a few key points, with much of the subject conveyed in impressionistic fashion. By this time a collectors' market for studies in drawing was well developed, there was appreciation of their energy and freedom. Castiglione's sketches to some extent seem to trade off this appreciation, look more unfinished and offhand than they are - a concept with a great future. A systematic producer of small modelli sketches on canvas with a high degree of finish was the 18th century Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose superb technique is shown at its best in reducing a huge altarpiece to a lively but precise rendering at this small scale.
At the same time Jean Fragonard was producing a series of virtuosic Figures de fantaisie, half-length portraits of imaginary subjects, purporting to have been painted in an hour. By the 19th century oil sketches referred to as "oil studies" if from this period, had become common, both as preparatory works, for their own sake; the popularity of the oil sketch engendered the need to formulate distinctions. The esquisse, or oil sketch, tended to be inspirational or imaginative originating in literature or art. In academic painting the oil sketch took the form of the croquis, a small and gestural compositional study, the ébauche, a dynamic laying-in of paint on the full-scale canvas, a temporary stage of the painting leading to greater elaboration. John Constable made extensive use of sketches for his landscapes, both of intimate scale in a sketchbook on paper, in full-scale sketches for his largest "six-footers", which he used to refine his compositions. Delacroix, Géricault and Degas are other artists who used them.
For some oil sketches Degas painted in essence, a technique by which the oil had been all but removed from the pigment, so that the artist was drawing with pure paint. Seurat made many careful small oil sketches for his larger works. However, with the advent of Impressionism, Modernism, the practice of preparatory drawing and painting tended to decline; the abandonment by many artists of a high level of detail and finish in favor of a more painterly and spontaneous approach, reduced the distinction between a detailed sketch and a finished painting. Sketches by Rubens or Tiepolo, for example, are at least as finished as many 20th century oil paintings. Many artists those working in more traditional styles, still use oil sketches today. Francis Bacon is an example of an artist who called many of his most important, largest, finished works "studies": examples are his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion Tate Britain, or his Study from Pope Innocent X, auctioned in 2007 for $52.7 million.
Oil painting 3 page article with examples from the Courtauld Institute of Art A contemporary example with comments by the artist from Tate Britain A Rubens sketch from Vienna - the subsequent painting
Landscape painting known as landscape art, is the depiction of landscapes in art – natural scenery such as mountains, trees and forests where the main subject is a wide view – with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works, landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is always included in the view, weather is an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, develop when there is a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects; the two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases. The recognition of a spiritual element in landscape art is present from its beginnings in East Asian art, drawing on Daoism and other philosophical traditions, but in the West only becomes explicit with Romanticism. Landscape views in art may be imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy.
If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views common as prints in the West, are seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful; the word "landscape" entered the modern English language as landskip, an anglicization of the Dutch landschap, around the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art, with its first use as a word for a painting in 1598. Within a few decades it was used to describe vistas in poetry, as a term for real views; however the cognate term landscaef or landskipe for a cleared patch of land had existed in Old English, though it is not recorded from Middle English. The earliest forms of art around the world depict little that could be called landscape, although ground-lines and sometimes indications of mountains, trees or other natural features are included; the earliest "pure landscapes" with no human figures are frescos from Minoan Greece of around 1500 BCE.
Hunting scenes those set in the enclosed vista of the reed beds of the Nile Delta from Ancient Egypt, can give a strong sense of place, but the emphasis is on individual plant forms and human and animal figures rather than the overall landscape setting. The frescos from the Tomb of Nebamun, now in the British Museum, are a famous example. For a coherent depiction of a whole landscape, some rough system of perspective, or scaling for distance, is needed, this seems from literary evidence to have first been developed in Ancient Greece in the Hellenistic period, although no large-scale examples survive. More ancient Roman landscapes survive, from the 1st century BCE onwards frescos of landscapes decorating rooms that have been preserved at archaeological sites of Pompeii and elsewhere, mosaics; the Chinese ink painting tradition of shan shui, or "pure" landscape, in which the only sign of human life is a sage, or a glimpse of his hut, uses sophisticated landscape backgrounds to figure subjects, landscape art of this period retains a classic and much-imitated status within the Chinese tradition.
Both the Roman and Chinese traditions show grand panoramas of imaginary landscapes backed with a range of spectacular mountains – in China with waterfalls and in Rome including sea, lakes or rivers. These were used, as in the example illustrated, to bridge the gap between a foreground scene with figures and a distant panoramic vista, a persistent problem for landscape artists; the Chinese style showed only a distant view, or used dead ground or mist to avoid that difficulty. A major contrast between landscape painting in the West and East Asia has been that while in the West until the 19th century it occupied a low position in the accepted hierarchy of genres, in East Asia the classic Chinese mountain-water ink painting was traditionally the most prestigious form of visual art. Aesthetic theories in both regions gave the highest status to the works seen to require the most imagination from the artist. In the West this was history painting, but in East Asia it was the imaginary landscape, where famous practitioners were, at least in theory, amateur literati, including several Emperors of both China and Japan.
They were also poets whose lines and images illustrated each other. In the 1830s the British inventor William Talbot creates the process of calotype and in 1844 he publishes the first book with photo illustrations: "The Pencil of Nature"Talbot, W. H. F.. The Pencil of Nature: in 6 parts. However, in the West, history painting came to require an extensive landscape background where appropriate, so the theory did not work against the development of landscape painting – for several centuries landscapes were promoted to the status of history painting by the addition of small figures to make a narrative scene religious or mythological. In early Western medieval art interest in landscape disappears entirely, kept alive only in copies of Late Antique works such as the Utrecht Psalter. A revival in interest in nature mainly manifested itself in depictions of small gardens such as the Hortus Conclusus or those in millefleur tapestries; the frescos of figures at work or pl
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and throughout his long career was a commentator and chronicler of his era. Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya is referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns, he was one of the great contemporary portraitists. He was born to a modest family in 1746 in the village of Fuendetodos in Aragon, he studied painting from age 14 under José Luzán y Martinez and moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. He married Josefa Bayeu in 1773. Goya became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786 and this early portion of his career is marked by portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, Rococo style tapestry cartoons designed for the royal palace. Goya was guarded, although letters and writings survive, little is known about his thoughts, he suffered a undiagnosed illness in 1793 which left him deaf.
Sick and disillusioned, after 1793 his work became progressively pessimistic. His easel and mural paintings and drawings appear to reflect a bleak outlook on personal and political levels, contrast with his social climbing, he was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795, the year Manuel Godoy made an unfavorable treaty with France. In 1799 Goya became Primer Pintor de Cámara, the then-highest rank for a Spanish court painter. In the late 1790s, commissioned by Godoy, he completed his La maja desnuda, a remarkably daring nude for the time and indebted to Diego Velázquez. In 1801 he painted Charles IV of Spain and His Family influenced by Velázquez. In 1807 Napoleon led the French army into the Peninsular War against Spain. Goya remained in Madrid during the war. Although he did not vocalise his thoughts in public, they can be inferred from his Disasters of War series of prints and his 1814 paintings The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Other works from his mid-period include the Caprichos and Los Disparates etching series, a wide variety of paintings concerned with insanity, mental asylums, fantastical creatures and religious and political corruption, all of which suggest that he feared for both his country's fate and his own mental and physical health.
His late period culminates with the Black Paintings of 1819–1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the Quinta del Sordo where, disillusioned by political and social developments in Spain he lived in near isolation. Goya abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover. There he completed his La Tauromaquia series and a number of other, canvases. Following a stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side, suffering failing eyesight and poor access to painting materials, he died and was buried on 16 April 1828 aged 82, his body was re-interred in the Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Famously, the skull was missing, a detail the Spanish consul communicated to his superiors in Madrid, who wired back, "Send Goya, with or without head." Francisco Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, on 30 March 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador.
The family had moved that year from the city of Zaragoza. They were lower middle-class. José was the son of a notary and of Basque origin, his ancestors being from Zerain, earning his living as a gilder, specialising in religious and decorative craftwork, he oversaw the gilding and most of the ornamentation during the rebuilding of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the principal cathedral of Zaragoza. Francisco was their fourth child, following his sister Rita, brother Tomás and second sister Jacinta. There were two younger sons and Camilo, his mother's family had pretensions of nobility and the house, a modest brick cottage, was owned by her family and fancifully, bore their crest. About 1749 José and Gracia were able to return to live in the city. Although there are no surviving records it is thought that Goya may have attended the Escuelas Pías de San Antón, which offered free schooling, his education seems to have been adequate but not enlightening. According to Robert Hughes the artist "seems to have taken no more interest than a carpenter in philosophical or theological matters, his views on painting... were down to earth: Goya was no theoretician."
At school he formed a lifelong friendship with fellow pupil Martin Zapater. At age 14 Goya studied under the painter José Luzán, where he copied stamps for 4 years until he decided to work on his own, as he wrote on "paint from my invention", he moved to Madrid to study with a popular painter with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1763 and 1766
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes and historical scenes and mythological themes as well as animal studies, his contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was prolific and innovative, gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was an avid art collector and dealer. Rembrandt never went abroad, but he was influenced by the work of the Italian masters and Netherlandish artists who had studied in Italy, like Pieter Lastman, the Utrecht Caravaggists, Flemish Baroque Peter Paul Rubens.
Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt's portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs, his self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity. Rembrandt's foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a new reproductive technique into a true art form, along with Jacques Callot, his reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime and never questioned since. Few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic whilst he lived, but his prints were circulated throughout Europe, his wider reputation was based on them alone.
In his works he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization"; the French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, "Compare me with Rembrandt! What sacrilege! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him!" Vincent van Gogh wrote, "Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt—magician—that's no easy occupation." Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic, now the Netherlands. He was the ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuijtbrouck, his family was quite well-to-do. Religion is a central theme in Rembrandt's paintings and the religiously fraught period in which he lived makes his faith a matter of interest.
His mother was Roman Catholic, his father belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. While his work reveals deep Christian faith, there is no evidence that Rembrandt formally belonged to any church, although he had five of his children christened in Dutch Reformed churches in Amsterdam: four in the Oude Kerk and one, Titus, in the Zuiderkerk; as a boy he attended Latin school. At the age of 14, he was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had a greater inclination towards painting. After a brief but important apprenticeship of six months with the painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt stayed a few months with Jacob Pynas and started his own workshop, though Simon van Leeuwen claimed that Joris van Schooten taught Rembrandt in Leiden. Unlike many of his contemporaries who traveled to Italy as part of their artistic training, Rembrandt never left the Dutch Republic during his lifetime, he opened a studio in Leiden in 1625, which he shared with friend and colleague Jan Lievens.
In 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerrit Dou in 1628. In 1629, Rembrandt was discovered by the statesman Constantijn Huygens, who procured for Rembrandt important commissions from the court of The Hague; as a result of this connection, Prince Frederik Hendrik continued to purchase paintings from Rembrandt until 1646. At the end of 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam rapidly expanding as the new business capital of the Netherlands, began to practice as a professional portraitist for the first time, with great success, he stayed with an art dealer, Hendrick van Uylenburgh, in 1634, married Hendrick's cousin, Saskia van Uylenburgh. Saskia came from a good family: her father had been a lawyer and the burgemeester of Leeuwarden; when Saskia, as the youngest daughter, became an orphan, she lived with an older sister in Het Bildt. Rembrandt and Saskia were married in the local church of St. Annaparochie without the presence of Rembrandt's relatives. In the same
Drawing is a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional medium. Instruments include graphite pencils and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers and various metals. Digital drawing is the act of using a computer to draw. Common methods of digital drawing include a stylus or finger on a touchscreen device, stylus- or finger-to-touchpad, or in some cases, a mouse. There are many digital art devices. A drawing instrument releases a small amount of material onto a surface; the most common support for drawing is paper, although other materials, such as cardboard, plastic, leather and board, may be used. Temporary drawings may be made on a blackboard or whiteboard or indeed anything; the medium has been a fundamental means of public expression throughout human history. It is one of most efficient means of communicating visual ideas; the wide availability of drawing instruments makes drawing one of the most common artistic activities.
In addition to its more artistic forms, drawing is used in commercial illustration, architecture and technical drawing. A quick, freehand drawing not intended as a finished work, is sometimes called a sketch. An artist who practices or works in technical drawing may be called a drafter, draftsman or a draughtsman. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression within the visual arts, it is concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper/other material, where the accurate representation of the visual world is expressed upon a plane surface. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour, while modern colored-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, drawing is distinct from painting though similar media are employed in both tasks. Dry media associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used in pastel paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with pens. Similar supports can serve both: painting involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawing is drawn first on that same support.
Drawing is exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem-solving and composition. Drawing is regularly used in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction. Drawings created. There are several categories of drawing, including figure drawing, cartooning and freehand. There are many drawing methods, such as line drawing, shading, the surrealist method of entopic graphomania, tracing. A quick, unrefined drawing may be called a sketch. In fields outside art, technical drawings or plans of buildings, machinery and other things are called "drawings" when they have been transferred to another medium by printing. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression, with evidence for its existence preceding that of written communication, it is believed that drawing was used as a specialised form of communication before the invention of the written language, demonstrated by the production of cave and rock paintings around 30,000 years ago. These drawings, known as pictograms, depicted abstract concepts.
The sketches and paintings produced by Neolithic times were stylised and simplified in to symbol systems and into early writing systems. Before the widespread availability of paper, 12th-century monks in European monasteries used intricate drawings to prepare illustrated, illuminated manuscripts on vellum and parchment. Drawing has been used extensively in the field of science, as a method of discovery and explanation. In 1609, astronomer Galileo Galilei explained the changing phases of the moon through his observational telescopic drawings. In 1924, geophysicist Alfred Wegener used illustrations to visually demonstrate the origin of the continents. Drawing is used to express one's creativity, therefore has been prominent in the world of art. Throughout much of history, drawing was regarded as the foundation for artistic practice. Artists used and reused wooden tablets for the production of their drawings. Following the widespread availability of paper in the 14th century, the use of drawing in the arts increased.
At this point, drawing was used as a tool for thought and investigation, acting as a study medium whilst artists were preparing for their final pieces of work. The Renaissance brought about a great sophistication in drawing techniques, enabling artists to represent things more realistically than before, revealing an interest in geometry and philosophy; the invention of the first available form of photography led to a shift in the hierarchy of the arts. Photography offered an alternative to drawing as a method for representing visual phenomena, traditional drawing practice was given less emphasis as an essential skill for artists so in Western society. Drawing became significant as an art form around the late 15th century, with artists and master engravers such as Albrecht Dürer and Martin Schongauer, the first Northern engraver known by name. Schongauer came from Alsac
A sketch is a executed freehand drawing, not intended as a finished work. A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle. Sketches can be made in any drawing medium; the term is most applied to graphic work executed in a dry medium such as silverpoint, pencil, charcoal or pastel. It may apply to drawings executed in pen and ink, digital input such as a digital pen, ballpoint pen, marker pen, water colour and oil paint; the latter two are referred to as "water colour sketches" and "oil sketches". A sculptor might model three-dimensional sketches in plasticine or wax. Sketching is a prescribed part of the studies of art students; this includes making sketches from a live model whose pose changes every few minutes. A "sketch" implies a quick and loosely drawn work, while related terms such as study, modello and "preparatory drawing" refer to more finished and careful works to be used as a basis for a final work in a different medium, but the distinction is imprecise.
Underdrawing is drawing underneath the final work, which may sometimes still be visible, or can be viewed by modern scientific methods such as X-rays. Most visual artists use, to a greater or lesser degree, the sketch as a method of recording or working out ideas; the sketchbooks of some individual artists have become well known, including those of Leonardo da Vinci and Edgar Degas which have become art objects in their own right, with many pages showing finished studies as well as sketches. The term "sketchbook" refers to a book of blank paper; the book might be purchased bound or might comprise loose leaves of sketches assembled or bound together. Sketching is used as a form of communication in areas of product design such as industrial design, it can be used to communicate design intent and is most used in ideation It can be used to map out floor plans of homes. The ability to record impressions through sketching has found varied purposes in today's culture. Courtroom sketches record individuals in law courts.
Sketches drawn to help authorities find or identify wanted. Street artists in popular tourist areas sketch portraits within minutes. Subjects and media Doodle Multi-Sketch Etch A Sketch, a toy List of sketches of notable people by Marguerite Martyn Urban Sketchers Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Sketch". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25. Cambridge University Press. P. 186. Media related to Sketches at Wikimedia Commons
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more Leonardo da Vinci or Leonardo, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, painting, architecture, music, engineering, anatomy, astronomy, writing and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology and architecture, he is considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute and tank, he epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal. Many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man", an individual of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination", he is considered one of the most diversely talented individuals to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent in recorded history, "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, while the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci notes that, while there is much speculation regarding his life and personality, his view of the world was logical rather than mysterious, although the empirical methods he employed were unorthodox for his time.
Leonardo was born out of wedlock to notary Piero da Vinci and a peasant woman named Caterina in Vinci in the region of Florence, he was educated in the studio of Florentine painter Andrea del Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan, he worked in Rome and Venice, he spent his last years in France at the home awarded to him by Francis I of France. Leonardo is renowned as a painter; the Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most parodied portrait, The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time. His drawing of the Vitruvian Man is regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, T-shirts, his painting Salvator Mundi sold for $450.3 million at a Christie's auction in New York on 15 November 2017, the highest price paid for a work of art. 15 of his paintings have survived. These few works compose a contribution to generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary Michelangelo, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, his thoughts on the nature of painting.
Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, the double hull. Few of his designs were constructed or feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance; some of his smaller inventions, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. A number of his most practical inventions are displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci, he made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on science. Leonardo was born on 15 April 1452 "at the third hour of the night" in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno river in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence.
He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense—"da Vinci" meaning "of Vinci"; the inclusion of the title "ser" indicated. 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, from 1457 lived in the household of his father and uncle in the small town of Vinci. His father had married a 16-year-old girl named Albiera Amadori, who loved Leonardo but died young in 1465 without children; when Leonardo was 16, his father married again to 20-year-old Francesca Lanfredini, who died without children. Piero's legitimate heirs were born from his third wife Margherita di Guglielmo and his fourth and final wife, Lucrezia Cortigiani. In all, Leonardo had 12 half-siblings, who were much younger than he was and with whom he had few contacts, but they caused him difficulty after his father's death in the dispute over the inheritance.
Leonardo received an informal education in Latin and mathematics. In life, Leonardo recorded only two childhood incidents. One, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face; the second occurred while he was exploring in the mountains: he discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there and driven by curiosity to find out what was inside. Leonardo's early life has been the subject of historical conjecture. Vasari, the 16th-century biographer of Renaissance painters, tells a story of Leonardo as a young man: A local peasant made himself a round shield and requested that Ser Piero have it painted for him. Leonardo responded with a