Leonardo da Vinci was the illegitimate son of Ser Piero da Vinci and also Caterina. The two had a quick affair and also separated soon after his birth. ~ the separation, Leonardo continued to be with his father, who lived through his parental on an heritage in Vinci.

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Leonardo da Vinci had 17 half-siblings. 5 through his mother. And twelve an ext through his father.


Leonardo da Vinci was never married. There are no well-known love affairs with women. The is often claimed that Leonardo to be homosexual. However, there is no concrete proof for this.


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practically nothing is known around Leonardo"s mommy Caterina. The only certainty is the her surname was Caterina, because Leonardo is mentioned in his grandfather Antonio"s taxation return the 1457 as the illegitimate boy of Ser Piero and Caterina. There room two theories around her identity.

Theory I: The peasant girl Caterina

In the tax returns from that period it appears that over there was just one Caterina in the Vinci area. This Caterina (*1427) married in 1457 one Antonio Buti di Piero del Vaccha, dubbed Achattabriga. The Buti family farmed in Campo Zeppi, around 1h walk indigenous the Vinci estate. This marriage produced five children: Piera (*1455), Maria (*1458), Lisabetta (*1459), Francesco (*1461) and also Sandra (*1463). Accordingly, Leonardo would certainly have four younger half-sisters and one younger half-brother ~ above his mother"s side. As result of the local proximity, that is conceivable the the young Leonardo regularly visited his mother.

Theory II: The slave Caterina

Another concept is that Caterina to be an asian slave. Ser Piero to be well acquainted through Ser Vanni, a affluent banker in Florence. In his home there to be a servant girl Chaterina. Servants were uncommon in Florence of that time, however nevertheless they exist here and also there. When Ser Vanni died unexpectedly in 1451, a year prior to Leonardo to be born, he bequeathed the servant Chaterina come his wife, Agnola. Ser Piero to be appointed executor the the will and also therefore frequently stayed in ~ the Vanni house, may also have live there temporarily. Therefore, some imply he may have actually impregnated this Chaterina and brought the child Leonardo to the farm yard in Vinci. Leonardo would have consequently additionally Arab roots. This theory is but highly controversial and also has only couple of supporters.

In this context, it is amazing that Leonardo later used for a position at the court of the footrest sultan, which to represent of the Arab descent concept see as an attempt to return to his roots. However, it can have been just Leonardo"s attempt to establish a monumental building project, namely to develop a bridge over the Bosporus.

Theory III: Synthesis

One regularly reads that the peasant girl and the slave are one and also the exact same person. Thus, Caterina was an asian slave who was impregnated by Ser Piero, then released right into freedom and also married to Antonio Buti. This is contradicted by the reality that prior to 1451, the year when there to be a servant Chaterina in Florence, over there was already a Caterina in the Vinci area. So over there must have actually been two various Caterinas.

Leonardo"s partnership with his mother

In any type of case, it deserve to be stated that Leonardo was increased by his paternal family, that is, there is no his mommy in the house. She likewise does not show up in later on documents. Just on 16.07.1493 hence at the period of 41 years Leonardo renders a quick note "Caterina come 16.7.1493". At that time he remains in Milan. However, she died shortly ~ on 26.6.1494 native the readjust fever, as is recognized from an entry of a church close to Leonardo"s residence. Also, at the exact same time Leonardo provides in a keep in mind a thorough account that the funeral expenses of a Caterina. It seems reasonable come assume that this Caterina is his mother and also that that took her in to care for her, more than likely after she husband died.

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Leonardo"s paternal family was a household of notaries. Only Leonardo"s grandfather Antonio (*1372) make an exemption here, once he chose to farm an estate in Vinci, just external Florence. With his wife Lucia (*1393), that was about two decades younger, he had two boy Ser Piero (*1427) and Francesco (*1435). Return born out of wedlock, Leonardo"s grandparents accepted him native the beginning and also hosted Leonardo"s baptism. They i was baptized him ~ above the first Sunday after Easter in 1452. Leonardo invested at least the very first twelve years of his life on his grandparents" farm before moving come Florence v his father. The grand lived come be roughly 90 years old and probably passed away in the 1460s. Lucia, the grandmother live to be at least 76 year old. When exactly they passed away we carry out not know.