Leonardo da Vinci embodied the Renaissance man. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, writer, engineer, inventor… the list goes on. Some of his images remain our most iconic even today: Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Vitruvian Man. Although born just outside Florence in the town of Vinci and trained in a studio in Florence, he spent his early working life in Milan, under the patronage of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, from 1482-1499.
It was during this time that he painted The Last Supper in the dining hall of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, at that time intended to be the Sforza family mausoleum. This huge painting is reason enough to visit Milan. Leonardo completed only fifteen paintings because his active mind tended to jump from project to project. He also had a tendency for experimentation that meant many of his paintings did not last well.