Fr : version française / En: english version

mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Plans for a city, taken from Manuscript B

Leonardo da Vinci

Plans for a city, taken from Manuscript B - Leonardo da Vinci

Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Institut
© RMN (Institut de France) / Thierry Le Mage

View this work in the exhibition Babel to Dubai: Urban Utopias

The artist

It is hard to describe in a few words the life of a man as prolific as Leonardo da Vinci...
Born in 1452 near Florence, he was a leading figure of the Quattrocento—first and foremost a talented painter who trained alongside the likes of Botticelli and Le Peruguin.

Blessed with a towering intelligence and a keen eye, he was also an outstanding scientist, as demonstrated by his private notebooks, written in Italian and in the dialect of Lombardy. An artist, engineer, architect, botanist, anatomist, philosopher and poet, Leonardo da Vinci is a shining example of the thirst for knowledge and the appeal of universalism that came to embody the European Renaissance.

Admired by his peers, he acquired a succession of patrons throughout his life. Educated in Florence, welcomed in Milan by Ludovico Sforza, and employed as architect and engineer to the Venetians, he also served the Borgia family and Pope Leo X. He spent the last years of his life in the service of King Francis I of France, a lover of Italian culture, who appointed Leonardo "First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King" and gave him the estate of Clos Lucé near Amboise, where he died in 1519.