- from Leonardo da Vinci
As a young boy, Leonardo seems to have had a great natural talent for painting. One time—so the story goes—he painted such a realistic-looking dragon that his father, Ser Piero, was truly frightened upon seeing it.
Aware that Florence was the most dynamic and prosperous city in Italy, Ser Piero took his 14-year-old son there to become apprenticed to one of the leading artists of the day, Andrea del Verrocchio. Apprenticeship was common at this time. In the apprenticeship system, a young person worked alongside an expert for about 13 years to learn a trade.
As an apprentice, Leonardo stayed very busy each day. He ground pigments for paint, made brushes, drew, painted, and sculpted. During his apprenticeship, Leonardo worked hard and was singled out as one of the best.