Leonardo Da Vinchi museum
Born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, just outside Florence, Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a 25-year-old notary, Ser Piero, and a peasant girl, Caterina. Growing up in his father's Vinci home, Leonardo had access to scholarly texts and was also exposed to Vinci's longstanding painting tradition, and when he was about 15 his father apprenticed him to the renowned workshop of Andrea del Verrochio in Florence, where he was an apprentice until 1477 when he set up a shingle for himself.
In search of new challenges and money, he entered the service of the Duke of Milan in 1482, abandoning his first commission in Florence, "The Adoration of the Magi". He spent 17 years in Milan, leaving only after Duke Ludovico Sforza's fall from power in 1499. It was during these years that Leonardo reached new heights of scientific and artistic achievement, painting and sculpting and designing elaborate court festivals and designing weapons, buildings and machinery. His studies from this period contain designs for advanced weapons, including a tank and other war vehicles, various combat devices, and submarines. Also during this period, Leonardo produced his first anatomical studies.