Da Vinci's Last Breath


Francis I of France receiving the last breath of Leonardo da Vinci, by Ingres, 1818
Francis I of France receiving the last breath of Leonardo da Vinci, by Ingres, 1818.

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath (meaning having learned much) during the time of the Italian Renaissance.


His areas of interest and expertise included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.


Leonardo came from an incredibly humble beginning - born out of wedlock to a notary and a peasant women. His genius for invention was unparalleled for this era and he had conceptualised a type of plane with flapping wings, the helicopter, a basic tank, a concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull for ships. Unfortunately his inventions were often not possible due to the limitation of engineering and metallurgy.


Da Vinci is often regarded as the most renowned painter of all time, with his most famous work, the Mona Lisa, being the most famous painting of all time (worth in the region of £593.4m). And his most recent sale was the Salvator Mundi (meaning Saviour or the World) and was bought for £342m on the 15th of November 2017.


Leonardo died on the May 2nd 1519 at the age of 67. His fame within his own lifetime was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy, and was claimed to have supported him in his old age, and held him in his arms as he passed away.