Leonardo's name was actually Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci, though he was known throughout his life as Leonardo or Leonardo Ser Piero. 'Da Vinci' is simply a reference to the Tuscan village in which he was born. Referring to him as 'Da Vinci' is a little like referring to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery of Alamein as 'Of Alamein'or Joan of Arc as 'Of Arc'. It is strange that Brown calls him 'Da Vinci' consistently, despite the fact he apparently studied art in Seville and his wife is supposedly an art historian.
The life and work of Leonardo, the archetypical 'Renaissance Man' for whom no branch of knowledge was allowed to remain a closed book, has proved endlessly fascinating to later generations. At one time he was known only as a painter, although many of his works by other hands were unknown and a number of inferior works by other hands were wrongly attributed to him. The full, amazing extent of his genius emerged only in quite recent times with the rediscovery of his notebooks and drawings. For a time, even Leonardo the painter seemed to be submerged by the weight of his new reputation as a scientist. Some readjustment has taken place since then. As a scientist and engineer, Leonardo's achievements, though staggering enough, have proved to be a shade less novel than once we thought, while at the same time a succession of brilliant art historians, beginning with Bernhard Berenson and Kenneth Clark, have made us far more knowledgeable about his art. Though Leonardo would have jibbed at such a judgment, he was and is, first and foremost a great painter; a man whose output was tiny compared with other geniuses of his time (a Michelangelo, a Raphael, a Titian) yet included possibly the two most famous paintings in history, the Mona Lisa and the Last Super.
Leonardo was a 'worshipper of Nature's divine order' and seems to think this put him at odds with the Church. Leonardo certainly had a fascination with nature but to pretend he was a 'Nature worshipper' in any supernatural or religious sense is taking things well beyond the evidence. Leonardo was not a particularly devout Catholic in his lifetime, but he was certainly a Catholic Christian, like anyone of his age.
By Leonardo's time, the dissection of corpses for anatomical study was accepted and widespread. It was done under license to prevent grave-robbing, but it would not have put Leonardo at odds with the Church in any way.
The picture the last supper ,a mural with a size of 8.8 x 4.6m in the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle grazie in Milan ,created in the years 1494 to 1498 ,is also known as the world-famous cenacolo of Leonardo. It is the subject of many legends, as a fairy free interpretation in the context of the film the da Vinci code sacrilege.
It was in the context of conservation measures subject of several misguided experiments. Once there ,also because of technical shortcomings of the original ,over the centuries serious damage by vandalism, neglect ,poor environmental conditions ,especially clumsy repairs were carried away ,his remains are finally 1904-1908 on a scientific basis has been preserved.
In contrast to the later-born Michel Angelo Leonardo was an open and friendly terms. He had a propensity for solitude and described him with the words."If you are alone, you will quite belong". He not like other renaissance artists, the glory of the ancient