Leonardo da Vinci - An insight into the life of a genius #4
In winter 1499 Leonardo da Vinci had to leave Milan. The french invaded Italy, burned through Lombardy and besieged Milan. Via Mantua and Venice Leonardo returned to Florence where he stayed until 1506. During this time he served Cesare Borgia as general, engineer and painted the picture of Mona Lisa. As already mentioned, it is still unclear who the painting represents.
According to stories, da Vinci himself is possessed by this work. In order not to have to sell the original he finally made a copy which he sold to the French king Franz the first for the gigantic sum of 4000 gold. That corresponds to around half a million dollars today. It is also this picture that after many different owners, among others it hung in the bedroom of Napoleon, can be visited in the Louvre today.
In 1506 da Vinci returned to Milan at the invitation of the French. He was able to move into his old chambers again, where he found the documents and experiments he had left behind. Full of energy and esprit he immediately started new research work.
In 1513 he was called to Rome by pope Leo the tenth, where he was to plan the drainage of the pontine marshes. But it did not keep him long in the church state. Raphael and Michelangelo were the clergy's favorites, which is why everything in Rome revolved around these two artists. Leonardo da Vinci was offended in his honor and his pride. Although he recognized the work of the other two artists, he could not understand that they were aroused in any way. Therefore he thankfully accepted the invitation of Franz the first and moved to France.
Together with a circle of eager students he lived from now on at the small castle Clos Luce near Amboise. Some works, which were only partially finished in the course of the decades, should be completed here. But shortly after his move to France, da Vinci was tormented by recurring paralysis in his hands. He was therefore unable to finish his works himself. He resigned and noted in his diary: "I wasted my time".
Leonardo da Vinci died in the spring of 1519. Although he had created infinitely much in his life and a multitude of records in the following centuries were invaluable for art history, medicine, theology and aviation, the master felt himself failed. His greatest dream, flying, did not come true.
Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the church of Saint Laurent in Amboise. The tomb was destroyed during the French revolution. But his knowledge has survived to this day.
Like no other artist, Leonardo da Vinci embodies the ideal combination of research and design, science and art, reality and fantasy with his creations.