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Building Dreams With Vision
History of the kits
History of da Vinci
History of IFI


Imitation means creation in the late Renaissance world of famed inventor, artiste and engineer, Leonardo da Vinci. While Columbus sailed the ocean blue, young da Vinci, convinced he'd culled all Florence could offer, set out for the thriving city-state of Milan to bring his pragmatic melding of form and function to the service of Ludovico il Moro. His early drive mechanisms were meticulously sketched to marshal Renaissance man's command of nature. His notebook, only partly saved from the ravages of time, offers up the footings for such feats as building damns, tanks, submarines and mastering even the impossible, flight.

In a clockwork universe that gave rise to mankind's quest to harness nature and things, da Vinci stands alone as the foremost imitator and re-creator of nature. In the spirit of da Vinci, we bring fine model kits that represent innovation, insight or inspiration which changes history.

1452 - Leonardo da Vinci born in the town of Vinci, 20 miles from Florence, then the richest city in Europe.

Events: Gutenberg perfects the printing press, reproduces the Gutenberg Bible Printing spreads quickly through Italy. Girolamo Savonarola born. Savonarola becomes the Dominican friar who challenges the worldliness of the Pope and the self-indulgence of Florence.

1469 - Leonardo begins apprenticeship with noted Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio.

Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and philosopher, author of The Prince , born.

1470 - Under Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence is the centre of the Renaissance and humanism in Italy.

1471 - Albrecht Dürer, German artist born in Nuremberg

1473 - Printing of musical notation introduced. Copernicus, Polish astronomer, born.

1474 - Caxton publishes first book printed in English The Game and Playe of the Chess .

1475 - Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian sculptor, painter, architect, born. Leonardo collaborates on the Baptism of Christ commissioned to Verrocchio.

1477 - Titian, Italian painter, born.

1478-1518 - Codex Atlanticus

1480 - Leonardo paints St. Jerome , The Vatican

1480-1518 - Codex Arundel

1481 - Adoration of the Magi

1482 - Leonardo settles to Milan, stays until 1499 (a more pragmatic, physical culture than Florence) While in Milan, Leonardo visits workshops, studies physics and mechanics; codices from this period filled with gears and cogwheels, solutions for hydraulic problems, inventions for flight, clock mechanisms and studies of human anatomy.

1483-1486 - Leonardo paints the Virgin on the Rocks , Paris, The Louvre.

1483 - Martin Luther, German religious reformer, born. Raphael, Italian painter and architect, born. Richard III kills Edward V and succeeds as King of England (until 1485).

1484 - Botticelli paints Birth of Venus. Ghirlandaio paints Life of St. Francis . Pope Sixtus IV dies. Succeeded by Innocent VIII (Pope until 1492), under whom witch persecution greatly increases.

1485 - Leonardo paints the portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (illust), known as Lady with an Ermine , Cracow, Czartoryski Gallery. Henry VII becomes King of England. Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, conquers Vienna.

1486 - Savonarola begins preaching. Pico della Mirandola publishes his 900 theses.

1487 - Main mosque, El Haram, built in Medina. The Spaniards conquer Malaga (from Muslims).

1487-1490 - Codex Forster.

1488 - Verrocchio dies.

1489 - Drawings--Anatomical studies of skulls.
Beginning of Reichstag in Frankfurt. Venice occupies Cyprus.

1490 - Leonardo produces many studies for wing joints (precursor to flying machine) Hieronymus Bosch paints Adoration of the Kings .

1491 - Leonardo prepares to cast Il Cavallo, (illust) Codex Madrid
Peasants revolt in the Netherlands.

1492 - Columbus discovers Haiti; also discovers “mispointing” of magnetic needle. Expulsion of Jews from Spain.

1493 - Exhibition of a full-scale model of the horse. Paracelsus, German doctor and philosopher, born. Second journey of Columbus to the West.

1493-1497 - Leonardo executes the works that will later compile the Madrid I Codex, these drawings illustrate machines and mechanical parts, pieces of clockwork and various tools.

1495 - Hieronymus Bosch paints Garden of Earthly Delights .

1495-1498 - Leonardo paints The Last Supper

1496 - Leonardo begins friendship and collaboration with Franciscan mathematician Luca Pacioli, who inspires Leonardo’s interest in mathematics and geometry (studied Euclid)

1497 - First news of “intoxicating” tobacco plant reaches Europe. Expulsion of Jews from Portugal. Savonarola excommunicated. Severe famine in Florence.

1498 - The “laudable and scientific duel” takes place at the Sforza castle. Participants included Leonardo, Pacioli , as well as theologians, teachers, and physicians. Leonardo finishes a book on painting and is working on a treatise on “forces and weights.” Vasco da Gama discovers sea route to India; Columbus on third voyage. Savonarola declared a heretic by the Pope and burned at the stake in Florence.

1499 - Fall of Ludovico il Moro (Sforza); Leonardo leaves Milan.
Amerigo Vespucci with Alonso de Ojeda discovers the Amazon River.

1500 - Leonardo travels around the Venetian state, returns to Florence, still with Pacioli.

1501 - Beginning of slave trade to America.

1502 - Leonardo hired as chief architect and military engineer to Cesare Borgia.Peasant revolts in Germany. Expulsion of non-Christian Jews from Spain.

1503-1505 - Leonardo invents relief etching.

1503 - Nostradamus, French astrologer, born.

1504-05 - Leonardo paints Mona Lisa .

1505 - Drawing from the Codex on the Flight of Birds, folio 8 recto.

1506 - Columbus dies, believing he has found waterway to India.
Machiavelli forms the Florentine militia.

1508 - Michelangelo begins to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Ludovico Sforza dies, while a prisoner of Louis XII.

1509 - Erasmus writes In Praise of Folly . Calvin, theologian and reformer, born.

1510 - Leonardo works with professor of anatomy Marcantonio della Torre.

1511 - Leonardo receives a stipend from Louis XII.

1512 - Self-portrait, circa 1512. Copernicus writes Commentariolus, in which he states that the earth revolves around the sun.

1513-16 - Leonardo constructs a large parabolic mirror conceived to heat the boilers of a laundry using solar energy. Leonardo paints St. John the Baptist .

1513 - Leonardo goes to Rome; has a studio in the Belvedere of the Vatican. Lorenzo de’ Medici rules in Florence.

1514 - Titian paints Sacred and Profane Love .

1517 - Leonardo works on geometric and architectural studies.
The Portuguese reach Canton by sea.

1518 - Thomas More’s Utopia published. Italian painter Tintoretto born.

1519 - Leonardo dies. Buried in Amboise. Magellan begins first circumnavigation of the globe. Luther condemned by the Pope.


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