Leonardo da Vinci was a true genius who graced this world. Da Vinci lived in a golden age of creativity among such contemporaries as Raphael and Michelangelo, and contributed his unique genius. Leonardo da Vinci was born in a Tuscan hamlet near Vinci. Da Vinci not only developed his skill in drawing, painting and sculpting during his apprenticeship, but through others working in and around the studio, he picked up knowledge in such diverse fields as mechanics, carpentry, metallurgy, architectural drafting and chemistry. Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings would become an essential part of his legacy. Da Vinci sketched prolifically, planning inventions, exploring human anatomy, drawing landscapes, and blocking out plans for paintings such as The Virgin of the Rocks and his sole surviving mural, The Last Supper. Much of his other creative output during his time with Verrocchio was credited to the master of the studio although the paintings were collaborative efforts. Although a member of the Florence painters’ guild as of 1472, the artist continued his studies with Verrocchio as an assistant until 1476. The influences of his master are evident in the remarkable vitality and anatomical correctness of the Leonardo paintings and drawings. Leonardo da Vinci received a commission to paint his “Adoration of the Magi” from Florence church elders who planned to use it as an altarpiece. Leonardo began creating his most well-known and replicated work, Mona Lisa, a couple of years later when he received a commission from Francesco del Giaconda to paint his wife.
Leonardo da Vinci is famous for a wide range of accomplishments within diverse fields and practices. He was considered a brilliant painter, inventor, scientist, philosopher, engineer and early medical researcher by his peers. With regard to the field of art, historians and scholars agree that Leonardo da Vinci paintings have not only produced a strong impact in the art world, but also boast the extent of this artist’s versatility.
Da Vinci was first and foremost a master painter, whose work is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance concepts, techniques, and typical subject material of the 15th and 16th century. Like other Renaissance painters, da Vinci concentrated on religious or semi-religious iconography for his themes, but he also did portraiture, which was an important part of his income during his life.
What makes Leonardo da Vinci paintings stand out from the work of his peers and contemporaries Many would say that it is due to his paintings unique effect on viewers ultimately caused by his impressive scientific approach toward his work.
For example, he was one of the few artists who mastered the concept of the vanishing point which involves creating a remarkable sense of depth and three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional frame by drawing strong diagonal lines that intersect in the painting’s background. A great illustration of this technique can be found in one of his most famous paintings, ‘The Last Supper The room in which Jesus and his disciples are sitting appears symmetrical and realistic a perfect representation of three-dimensional space whereby the walls seem to be converging inwards.
Da Vinci experimented with perspective to create unforgettable impressions of people and places. For example, in what is perhaps the most recognized portrait in the world, ‘Mona Lisa, viewers feel that the woman in the painting is watching them, regardless of their position in relation to the frame. Furthermore, her mysterious smile seems to suggest a thought. Gazing at Mona Lisa is an eerie experience that can only be felt when looking at the original as some of the effect is lost in reproductions. Many deem her partial smile to be the cause of her unsettling effect on viewers, while others attribute it to her unavoidable eyes. In any case, Mona Lisa’s portrait is an unforgettable, intimate viewing experience.
Aside from ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, Leonardo da Vinci created many other notable works, causing tremendous impact on his peers and the style of future artists. One such masterpiece is ‘Madonna of the Rocks’, whereby his talent for three-dimensional effects, applied to a landscape background, produces a strong reaction in viewers. ‘St. John in the Wilderness’, which combines dimensional technique, skillful perspective, and color effects into one powerful composition, is an illustration of da Vinci’s ingenuity.
While some may deem Leonardo da Vinci paintings tame in their total effect on our society’s modern sensibilities, his development of techniques that immersed the viewer in the world of the painting, and the impact of those techniques cannot be understated.
The notebooks are where Leonardo recorded his own ideas as well as existing designs and philosophies for reference. They were never intended for publication. After his death in France on 2 May 1519, Francesco Melzi, his pupil, brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. Melzi’s heirs, who had no idea of the importance of the manuscripts, gradually disposed of them
Everyone has heard of the Mona Lisa, but less well-known than Leonardo’s painting are his notebooks. They show that he was a designer and scientist way beyond his time. He drew his visions of the aeroplane, the helicopter, the parachute, the submarine and the car. It was more than 300 years before many of his ideas were improved upon.
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