Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
Leonardo was a genius, an artist and an
Leonardo's father was Ser Piero, his
mother was Caterina.
Agnese Sabato and Alessandro
Vezzosi suggest that Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a slave girl and had
at least 21 half-siblings.
They say that father Piero did not marry Leonardo's mother, but four other
women instead, and that Leonardo's mother, Caterina,
married another man and had five children from that relationship.
Was Caterina a Slave
Very little has been known about da Vinci's mother and the
circumstances of his birth. The only account dates to a 1457 tax
record in which the artist's grandfather listed the members of his
family and briefly described his grandson:
"Lionardo, aged 5, the illegitimate child of Ser Piero and Caterina,
who at present is married to Acchattabriga di Piero del Vaccha da
Beyond this, scholars had very little to go on. While Ser Piero was
easily identified as a Florentine notary, nothing was known about
Caterina. As legend has it, she was a peasant girl from Vinci.
Now, 30-year-old research conducted by the late director of the
Leonardo Library, published by his son Francesco, suggests a
completely different scenario.
"Archival research has shown that there isn't any Caterina in Vinci
or nearby villages that can be linked to Ser Piero. The only
Caterina in Piero's life seems to be a slave girl who lived in the
house of his wealthy friend Vanni di Niccolo di Ser Vanni,"
Evidence for "the slave Caterina" comes from Vanni's newly
discovered will. The wealthy banker named his friend Ser Piero the
executor of his will, and left most of his estate to a religious
order. He left the slave girl to his wife Agnola and his Florentine
house in via Ghibellina to Ser Piero.
Read the entire Discovery Channel article...
Leonardo da Vinci the Painter
Most famous are Leonardo's paintings Last
Supper and Mona Lisa.
The Last Supper
Fresco in Santa Maria delle
Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo,
known as the Mona Lisa (the Joconde in French)
Musée du Louvre
Here is more about