Chronology

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1452
Leonardo is born at Vinci on April 15, the natural son of the notary Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci.
At Arezzo, in the Church of San Francesco, Piero della Francesca begins the cycle of frescoes known as the Legend of the True Cross.

1454
The Peace of Lodi inaugurates a period of political stability in Italy.

1469
Leonardo presumably enters Verrocchio's workshop in this year.

1472
He is enrolled in the painters' association, the Compagnia di San Luca. His first works start from this date: costumes and sets for festivals and jousts, a cartoon for a tapestry (lost) and the paintings of uncertain dating.

1473
He dates (August 5) the drawing of the Landscape of the Val d'Arno (Florence, Uffizi Gallery).

1476
Accused of sodomy along with other persons, he is acquitted.
In Milan Galeazzo Maria Sforza is assassinated in a plot. His son Gian Galeazzo succeeds him; the city is governed by Simonetta.

1478
Leonardo is commissioned to paint the altarpiece for the Chapel of San Bernardo in Palazzo della Signoria. In this same year he states that he has completed two paintings of the Virgin, one of which is now identified as the Benois Madonna.
The Pazzi Conspiracy, fomented by Pope Sixtus IV, fails. Giuliano de' Medici dies, but the authority of his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent is reinforced.

1480
According to the "Anonimo Gaddiano", Leonardo works for Lorenzo de' Medici.Ludovico Sforza kills Simonetta, imprisons his nephew and illicitly becomes the lord of Milan.

1481
Contract for the Adoration of the Magi.

1482
Leonardo moves to Milan leaving the Adoration of the Magi unfinished.

1483
In Milan Leonardo stipulates the contract for the Virgin of the Rocks in collaboration with Evangelista and Ambrogio De Predis.
Raphael is born in Urbino.

1487
Payment for projects for the lantern on the Milan Cathedral.

1488
Verrocchio dies in Venice, where he was completing the equestrian monument to Colleoni. Bramante is in Pavia as consultant for designing the Cathedral.

1489
Leonardo designs sets for the festivities celebrating the wedding of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella d'Aragon. In this same year he begins preparations for the colossal equestrian statue in honor of Francesco Sforza.

1491
Giangiacomo Caprotti da Oreno, known as "Salai", enters Leonardo's service.
The nickname "Salai", which means "devil", derives from the boy's unruly character.

1492
For the wedding of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice d'Este, Leonardo designs the costumes for the parade of Scythians and Tartars.In Florence Lorenzo de' Medici dies. The system of alliances sanctioned by the Peace of Lodi begins to break up.

1494
Land reclamation work on one of the Duke's estates near Vigevano.
The King of France Charles VIII, allying himself with Ludovico il Moro, invades Italy to claim his right to the Kingdom of Naples.

1495
Leonardo begins the Last Supper and the decoration of rooms in the Castello Sforzesco. The artist's name is mentioned as Ducal Engineer.

1497
The Duke of Milan urges the artist to finish the Last Supper, which is probably completed by the end of the year.

1498
Leonardo completes the decoration of the Sala delle Asse in the Castello Sforzesco. Pollaiolo dies in Rome, where he has designed the tombs of Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. Michelangelo is commissioned to sculpt the Pieta in St. Peter's. In Florence Savonarola is burned at the stake.

1499
Leonardo leaves Milan in the company of Luca Pacioli. Stops first at Vaprio to visit the Melzi family, then leaves for Venice passing through Mantua, where he draws two portraits of Isabella d'Este. Luca Signorelli begins the frescoes in the Chapel of San Brizio in the Orvieto Cathedral. Milan is occupied by the King of France, Louis XII.

1500
Leonardo arrives in Venice in March. Returns to Florence where he resides in the Monastery of the Servite Brothers in the Santissima Annunziata.
In Florence, Piero di Cosimo paints the Stories of Primitive Humanity.

1502
Leonardo enters the service of Cesare Borgia as architect and general engineer, following him on his military campaigns through Romagna.In Rome, Bramante begins the Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio and the Belvedere Courtyard.

1503
Leonardo returns to Florence where, according to Vasari, he paints the Mona Lisa. Devises projects for deviating the course of the Arno River during the siege of Pisa. Commissioned by the Signoria to paint the Battle of Anghiari.

1504
Continues to work on the Battle of Anghiari. Is called upon to participate in the commission that will decide where to place Michelangelo's David. First studies for the Leda and the Swan. Michelangelo completes the David commissioned from him three years before by the Republic of Florence. Raphael paints the Marriage of the Virgin; then moves to Florence, where he is profoundly influenced by Leonardo's work.

1506
Leonardo leaves Florence for Milan, planning to return within three months. The stay in Milan extends beyond this time.

1508
Leonardo is in Florence, then returns to Milan. In Rome, Michelangelo commits him self to frescoing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
In Venice, Giorgione and Titian fresco the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.

1509
Geological studies on the valleys of Lombardy. Raphael is in Rome, where he begins decorating the Stanze.

1510
Studies on anatomy with Marcantonio della Torre at the University of Pavia.

1512
Michelangelo completes the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The Sforza return to Milan.

1513
Leonardo leaves Milan for Rome, where helives in the Vatican Belvedere under the protection of Giuliano de' Medici.
Remains in this city for three years, engaged in mathematical and scientific studies. Pope Julius II dies. He is succeeded by Giovanni de' Medici under the name of Leo X. In Florence, Andrea del Sarto begins the cycle of frescoes Stories of the Virgin.
In Milan, Cesare da Sesto with his Baptism of Christ achieves a synthesis of the style of Leonardo and that of Raphael.

1514
Projects for draining the Pontine swamps and for the port of Civitavecchia. In Rome Bramante dies. Raphael succeeds him as architect of the Fabric of St. Peter's.

1515
Francis I becomes King of France. With the victory of Marignano he reconquers Milan. Raphael works on the cartoons for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel.

1516
Charles of Hapsburg becomes King of Spain.

1517
Leonardo moves to Amboise, to the court of Francis I, King of France. In mid- January he visits Romorantin with the King to plan a newroyal residence and a system of canals in the region of Sologne.In Rome, Raphael and his assistants paint the "Logge" in the Vatican and the Loggia of Psyche in the Villa Farnesina.

1518
Leonardo participates in the festivities for the baptism of the Dauphin and for the wedding of Lorenzo de' Medici to the King's niece.

1519
On April 23 Leonardo writes his will. The executor is his friend the painter Francesco Melzi. He dies on May 2. In the burial certificate, dated August 12, he is described as a 'noble Milanese, first painter and engineer and architect to the King, State Mechanical Engineer'.
Charles V of Hapsburg is elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Open conflict breaks out between France and the Empire. In Parma, Correggio paints the Badessa's Chamber in the Convent of San Paolo.

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