Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci , (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519), was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist and writer.
Born the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio.
In the 1480s Leonardo received two very important commissions, and commenced another work which was also of ground-breaking importance in terms of composition. Unfortunately two of the three were never finished and the third took so long that it was subject to lengthy negotiations over completion and payment.
Leonardo's most famous painting of the 1490s is The Last Supper, also painted in Milan. The painting represents the last meal shared by Jesus with his disciples before his capture and death. It shows specifically the moment when Jesus has said "one of you will betray me". Leonardo tells the story of the consternation that this statement caused to the twelve followers of Jesus.
Leonardo was not a prolific painter, but he was a most prolific draftsman, keeping journals full of small sketches and detailed drawings recording all manner of things that took his attention.
Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by Francis I.