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Each day hundreds of tourists flock to the Louvre Museum in Paris to admire the most famous painting in the world the Mona Lisa This artists legacy lives today as his creations continue to inspire artists scientists and the common man even four hundred years after his death This artist Leonardo da Vinci known for his unlimited desire for knowledge proved to be the most versatile genius of the Renaissance His influence on sixteenth century art and his scientific research were far in advance of his time for he anticipated the attitudes of more recent intellectual epochs Leonardo was born at the height of the age of discovery in a background that offered little promise for either art or profound thought On April 15 1452 near the small Tuscan hill town of Vinci Leonardo was born illegitimately to a peasant woman known as Caterina and a prominent Florentine notary Ser Piero da Vinci Wallace 6 Shortly after his birth his mother married a local artisan Ser Piero however married several times but it wasnt until his third and fourth marriages that he had legitimate children the first when Leonardo was already grown Thus Leonardo was able to grow up in his fathers household where he was treated as a legitimate son He received the usual elementary education of that day reading writing and arithmetic da Vinci Britannica 2 Much of Leonardos time was spent roving and exploring his surroundings He would collect items that pleased or interested him what he could not carry home he sketched on the spot It was at this time Ser Piero noticed his young sons talent he began to wonder whether the boy might not make a profession of art Williams 15 When Leonardo was around the age of fourteen Piero took an important step for his sons career During a business trip Ser Piero visited his friend Andrea del Verrochio one of the best known
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