About Leonardo Da Vinci
Famous American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.” He might have been thinking about Leonardo da Vinci when he wrote that. Leonardo was one of the most curious people who ever lived.
Leonardo wanted to know about everything. He lived in Florence, Italy, during the Renaissance, which is a French word for “rebirth.” During the Renaissance, many people were rediscovering old Roman and Greek ideas that had been hidden for hundreds of years. They were inspired to seek out new secrets and different ways of understanding.
Leonardo was born in 1452, in the town of Vinci (hence his last name “from Vinci). He was born out of “wedlock,” meaning that his mother and father were not married. He lived with his mother for five years, and then with his father, Ser Piero, who wanted him to be classically trained. That meant that Leonardo learned Latin, geometry, mathematics, and also how to draw.
Unfortunately, very little is known of Leonardo’s early life. He only described two memories of his childhood. Once a kite hovered over his cradle, its feathers brushing his face, and another time he discovered a cave near his house that frightened him, but also drew him closer. He thought there might be a monster lurking inside but he was so curious he had to see.
Leonardo’s curiosity was greater than anyone’s. When he was 15 years old, he was sent to apprentice at the workshop of one of the most famous Florentine painters, Verrocchio. Some of Leonardo’s “contemporaries,” meaning people who did the same thing as him at around the same time, also studied under Verrocchio, including the famous painter Botticelli.