Young da Vinci

Da Vinci's DemonsLeonardo was born near the Italian town of Vinci in 1452. He probably spent the first few years living with his mother, but moved to his father's house when she married. His father was stern and distant with him, but Leonardo was a favourite with his uncle, Francesco, who ran the family's farm. Piero da Vinci didn't know what to do about his son, Leonardo. He had reached the point in life when young men needed to prepare for a career.
Piero himself was an important official - a notary, but because the boy was illegitimate, the association of magistrates and notaries would not accept him, nor would he be allowed to attend the university. The boy did show a definite talent for drawing, however. Perhaps he could be apprenticed to an artist…
Some time between the age of fifteen and eighteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, called Verrocchio (which means “true eye”) in his studio in Florence. This is how young Leonardo da Vinci started on his career in art, a career in which he would create some of the most famous paintings in the world.
Leonardo was more than just an artist, however. He was also interested in science, anatomy and architecture. His sketchbooks, filled with his ideas for inventions, stunned the world when they were found centuries after his death. He was a scientist before there was science, an inventor whose ideas surpassed the technology of his time, and a famous artist who produced the most valuable and recognized paintings in the world.

1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Leonardo’s relationship with his father was not easy as a child.
b) Leonardo’s father had clear ideas about his son’s future.

2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
a) Explain why Leonardo couldn’t attend the university. 
b) Why is Leonardo considered a man ahead of his time?

3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
  • a) managed (paragraph 1) ran
  • b) aptitude (paragraph 2) talent
  • c) acclaimed (paragraph 3) famous
  • d) amazed (paragraph 4) stunned

4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
a) I wonder what Leonardo da Vinci would have invented if he had had (have) access to a computer during his lifetime.
b) When young, Leonardo learnt from his master. Then, he left (leave) us some of the best paintings ever.
c) Although he began his career as an artist, the older (old) Leonardo grew the more attracted he became to different topics.
d) Complete the following sentence to report what was said.
Verrocchio said to Leornardo “don’t stop practising until you learn how to paint”.

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