Little is known about the life of Leonardo da Vinci. He kept copious notebooks, but these contain only sketches and speculations. Much of what we know of him comes from tax records, legal documents, and secondhand sources. Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in the town of Vinci. His father was Ser Piero, a notary; his mother, Caterina, came of a peasant family. They were not married. The boy's uncle Francesco may have had more of a hand in his upbringing than by either of his parents. When Leonardo was about 15, he moved to the nearby city of Florence and became an apprentice to the artist Andrea del Verrocchio. He was already a promising talent. While at the studio, he aided his master with his Baptism of Christ, and eventually painted his own Annunciation. Around the age of 30, Leonardo began his own practice, starting work on the
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