Leonardo Da Vinci: The Renaissance Artist
by Annie Saxena on Feb 09, 2023
Leonardo da Vinci (15 April 1452- 2 May 1519) was an Italian artist whose areas of interest included painting, architecture, sculpting, science, invention, music, literature, mathematics, anatomy, geology, history, astronomy, botany, engineering, writing and cartography. Leonardo received an informal education in Mathematics, geometry and Latin and was called the father of ichnology, paleontology and architecture.
Leonardo is considered as one of the renowned painters of all time. The Last Supper was the most reproduced religious painting of all time and Mona Lisa is the most famous and parodied portrait. His work began with the Baptism of Christ painted with Verrocchio.
Painting Despite the recent admiration and awareness of Leonardo as an inventor and scientist, his name and fame rested on his achievements as a painter and on a handful of works regarded as masterpieces, for the better part of four hundred years. His paintings are famous for a variety of qualities which have been discussed by critics and connoisseurs and imitated by students.
His work becomes unique due to the innovative techniques used by him, his innovative use of the human form in figurative composition, use of the subtle gradation of tone and detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, botany and geology. All these qualities come together in his most famous painted works The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa and The Virgin of the Rocks.
Paintings of the 1480s
In the 1480s, Leonardo received two very important commissions and started another work which was of equal importance in terms of composition. Two of them were never finished and the third took so long that it was subject to negotiations over completion and payment. St. Jerome in the Wilderness is one of these paintings which is also associated with a difficult period of Leonardo’s life, as he wrote in his diary: “I thought I was learning to live; I was only learning to die.
Paintings of the 1490s
Leonardo’s well known painting of the 1490s is The Last Supper, which represents the last meal shared by Jesus with his disciples before his capture and death. Through this painting, He tells the story of the anxiety that this statement caused to the twelve followers of Jesus when Jesus said “one of you will betray me”.
Paintings of the 16th century
Mona Lisa created during 16th century is the most famous painting in the world. Its popularity rests, on the elusive smile on the woman’s face, it is said that the smile was so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human; its mysterious quality brought about the fact that the artist has shadowed the corners of the eyes and mouth so that the exact nature of the smile cannot be identified. The work is renowned due to the shadowy quality which came to be known as Leonardo’s smoke or sfumato.
Leonardo was a most prolific draftsman, who kept journals full of small sketches, detailed drawings and recording things that took his attention. The Adoration of the Magi, The Virgin of the Rocks and The Last Supper are some of his major works. Landscape of the Arno Valley, 1473 is his earliest creation which shows the mountains, the river, farmlands and the Montelupo Castle in great detail.
Fame and reputation
Leonardo earned a lot of fame during his lifetime. Things were such that the King of France supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died. People’s interest in his work has not yet diminished. His best-known artworks, T-shirts printed with his famous designs are a source of attraction for Crowds even today. Many great writers consider him as a genius while talking about his private life, as well as about what an intelligent person like him, actually believed in.