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Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Vitruvian Man (Reti 146). Who was the man behind all of these famous artworks? It was I, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, a polymath: sculptor, painter, engineer, mathematician, inventor, botanist, architect, anatomist, geologist, writer, and cartographer. I wanted to know everything; the noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding (Riter). Whenever people saw me, they visualized wealth and happiness, but what they overlooked was the factor that molded me into who I am right now. My early life was filled with hardships, sorrow, and intricate obstacles.

April 15, 1452 was the day this talented man was born, but it was also the beginning of my challenging life. I was born in the town of Vinci which was located in the territory of Florence. My father Ser Piero was an up-and-coming notary. Caterina, my mother was a peasant girl. I was born out of wedlock, meaning my parents weren’t married when they had me. My status as an illegitimate child greatly affected my personal development. “As a notary, my father was positioned quite solidly within the developing middle classes, which were full of clubs, guilds, and unions that carefully regulated the opportunities for me. I had no hope in attending universities, or becoming a notary like my father”(SparkNotes Editors). I barely had any chances to spend time with my father, who was always busy with work in Florence. Not only was I illegitimate, but my mother was soon distracted by her other children when she decided to abandon me and marry another man. With my mother marrying another man and my father marrying a sixteen-years-old girl, I ended up having 17 half-siblings (SparkNotes Editors). No doubt, I felt neglected as my parents drifted farther and farth…

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…my life was about to end, it made me realize how people viewed me. My father Ser Piero, although he didn’t have the time for me, and married another woman, he still loved me. He appreciated my talent and sent me away into the path of art and creativity. My master Andrea del Verrocchio admired my painting skills, he treated me as a son more than an apprentice, and teaching me everything he know and about life in general. My pupils, Salai and Francesco Melzi respected me as their master. Although the public humiliated me when I was accused of homosexual sodomy, their attitudes towards me changed after they realized my talents and when the charges were dismissed due to the lack of evidence. Being famous isn’t everything; it’s the factors around you that made famous matters. The people around me were the ones who contributed to the existence of me, Leonardo da Vinci.

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