Leonardo da Vinci needs no introduction and that’s a fact. But I know there are some bunch of people who are not aware of him. And it will be my pleasure to take all of you through his journey from this article.
He was born in Italy (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519)(aged 67) known for art, science, engineering, architecture, anatomy. Leonardo is renowned primarily as a painter. Some of his most famous works includes The Mona Lisa and it is the most popular portrait ever made. The last Supper is considered as the most reproduced religious painting of all time.
He was born to notary Piero da Vinci and a peasant woman named Caterina in Vinci, his parents were unmarried. Da Vinci’s uncle, who had a particular appreciation for nature that da Vinci grew to share and also heLped raise him. His education was done at studio of Florentine painter Andrea Del Verrocchio. When he was 20, the painter’s guide of Florence offered da Vinci membership, but he remained with Verrocchio until he became independent. He has spent his working life mostly in Milan than in Rome, Bologna and Venice. He was in France before taking the last breaths of his life. He was a painter, architect, engineer and a sculptor. But he went even beyond that. He used his superb intellect, unusual powers of observation, and mastery of the art of drawing to study nature itself, a line of inquiry that allowed his dual pursuits of art and science to flourish.
He has received an informal education in Latin, geometry and mathematics. He always carried a notebook with him in which he would draw the inventions, sketch people’s expressions when he walked through Florence and Milan and tried to relate that to the inner feelings they were having. (Leonardo da Vinci)
Although he had no formal academic training, many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man”, an individual of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination.” He is one of the most diversified talented individual ever lived. If you see his work, his life you will start adoring this man. He is a legend in him field and have make a mark for all who wants to be like him and achieving that is pretty much tough. He will remain the only one who has done this incredible works. 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.
He would consider his eyes to be his main avenue to knowledge; to Leonardo, sight was man’s highest sense because it alone can convey the facts of experience immediately, correctly, and with certainty. Leonardo regarded artists as divine apprentices, writing “We, by our arts, may be called the grandsons of God.” His natural genius crossed many disciplines that he has set a perfect example of the term “Renaissance man”.
Interest in Leonardo da Vinci and his work has never been diminished. Crowds still queue to see his best-known artworks, there are T-shirts that still bear his most famous drawing, and writers continue to hail him as a genius.
Leonardo da Vinci Paintings
Leonardo da Vinci was a true genius who graced this world in his presence when he was alive. He is among the most influential artists in history, having left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other. He lived in a golden age of creativity among such contemporaries as Raphael and Michaelangelo, and contributed his unique genius to virtually everything he touched. He was an important figure in the art world of the day. His drawings have become an essential part of his legacy.
We have some examples of Leonardo da Vinci Paintings mention below which are some of his greatest and breathe taking works.
During his first stay in Milan city, for the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, he has commissioned his one of the famous works The Last Supper with Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan and Leonardo’s patron. Depicting a sequential narrative, he illustrates several connected moments in the Gospels, in which Jesus declares that one of the Apostles will betray him. Leonardo, who was fascinated by the manner in which a man’s character can reveal itself in posture, expression, and gesture, depicted each disciple’s unique reaction to the declaration. However, Viewers still recognize it as a complex study of different human emotions.
Vitruvian Man came from one of his notebooks which he used to carry with himself to sketch and capture different expressions and emotions of people’s. The drawing illustrates Vitruvius’s theory that the ideal human could fit within a circle and a square, two irreconcilable shapes. The work shows not only Leonardo’s effort to understand significant texts but also his desire to expand on them. The Drawing became more iconic because it had a combination of mathematics, philosophy, and art.
In The Virgin of the Rocks, it has the figures of the Virgin Mary, the Christ Child, the infant John, and an archangel are arranged in a pyramidal composition, and they not only convincingly occupy a space but interact with one another through gestures. He shows how in deep conversation they are through the glances that are show in the art. His paintings seems like they are speaking to us.
Head of a Woman, a young woman with her head tilted and her eyes downcast recalls the Virgin Mary from Leonardo’s The Virgin of the Rocks, the sketch may have served as a model. It has subtleness in it and a way is has been sketched is on another level. Doesn’t feel like it has been sketched, the painting feels alive.
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, it is believed that this was the last work of Leonardo and in this work he has used many conventions that he has established throughout his journey to depict three generations of the Holy Family—Saint Anne, her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and the Christ Child. (Leonardo da Vinci Paintings)
Now let’s talk about his most appreciated work.
The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa draws thousands of visitors to the Louvre Museum each day, many of whom are compelled by the sitter’s mysterious gaze and enigmatic smile.
Mona Lisa was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. She was also known as La Giocondo. The painting is owned by the Government of France and is on the wall of the Louvre in Paris, France. The women is dressed in the Florentine fashion of her day and seated in a visionary, mountainous landscape. The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression, which seems both alluring and aloof, has given the portrait universal fame. The figure sits with her arms folded as she gazes at the viewer and appears to softly smile—an aesthetic attribute that has proven particularly eye-catching over centuries. The Mona Lisa has no clearly visible eyebrows or eyelashes. Some researchers claim that it was common at this time for genteel women to pluck these hairs, as they were considered unsightly.
The famous smile of Mona Lisa is a visual representation of the idea of happiness suggested by the word “gioconda” in Italian. Leonardo made this notion of happiness the central motif of the portrait: it is this notion which makes the work such an ideal. The sense of overall harmony achieved in the painting especially apparent in the sitter’s faint smile reflects the idea of a link connecting humanity and nature. Many believe that her eyes follow you across the room. But it does not looks into your eyes when you see the painting it is looking towards your ears than your eyes.
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous masterpiece is painted on a poplar plank. After the painting arrived for the first time at the Louvre in 1815, Mona Lisa received plenty of love letters and flowers from admirers. Her smile might be engaging or it might be mocking—viewers can’t quite figure it out because, like a human, she is a complex figure. It is one of the most valuable paintings in the world.
The Mona Lisa began to influence contemporary Florentine painting even before it was completed. Raphael, who had been to Leonardo’s workshop several times, used some elements of the portrait’s composition and format in several of his works.
Many other artists have tried to replicate the Mona Lisa but unfortunately they couldn’t succeed in it or say it didn’t seemed much like Mona Lisa, her quite smile and eyes that spoke to the viewers was not there in the paintings that other artist have created.
The ambiguous expression is one of the strongest reasons for the Mona Lisa‘s enduring success.
Leonardo da Vinci Quotes
Leonardo Da Vinci was not just a great artist but a great philosopher too. He has said some amazing things that are so accurate that we cannot deny believing it. (Leonardo da Vinci Quotes)
- “The joy of understanding is the noblest pleasure.”
- “Painting is concerned with Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest, which are the 10 attributes of sight.”
- “You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.”
- “While appealing to an authority an argument is conducted than its not call using of intelligence, it is just using your memory.”
- “There is no art, where the spirit does not work with the hand.”
- “The life which is spent well is always long.”
- “The one who uses time wisely; Time stays long enough for them.”
- “The one wants to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.”
- “The painter who is familiar with the nature of the sinews, muscles, and tendons, will know very well, in giving movement to a limb, how many and which sinews cause it; and which muscle, by swelling, causes the contraction of that sinew; and which sinews, expanded into the thinnest cartilage, surround and support the said muscle.”
- “I have always felt it is my destiny to build a machine that would allow man to fly. “
- “The ultimate sophistication is Simplicity.”
- “The mind is never exhausted by learning.”
Leonardo da Vinci Facts
Leonardo da Vinci remains as one of the most popular historical figures of today. Beyond his famous persona as both an artist and a scientist. Let’s see some interesting Leonardo da Vinci Facts that will blow your mind.
- Leonardo da Vinci was closer to his father than his mother. He lived with her in the starting few years of his childhood but then he settled with his father. But after settling with his father he used to write letters to her mother time to time. However see spent her last few years of life with her son.
- In his upbringing the role of his Uncle Francesco played a significant role.
- Leonardo does not have any surname da Vinci simply meant “Of Vinci”.
- He was an illegitimate child as his father never married his biological mother. But he married four times in his lifetime and Leonardo has 17 siblings and half siblings.
- His father was a wealthy man. After his death, Leonardo faced a tough time with his siblings.
- Andrea del Verrocchio was Leonardo’s teacher who taught him painting. Once when he asked Leonardo to draw a painting of an angel and it was so good that Andrea del Verrocchio decided to never paint again.
- Leonardo da Vinci was a left hand person.
- He was a strict vegetarian. He did not like to cage the animals and birds, so he would buy the caged animals and set them free.
- He was a perfectionist with a procrastinator.
- He was unmarried with no children. In his notebook he wrote that male-female intercourse disgusted him.
- He wore pink to make his complexion look fresh.
- Leonardo was known to have been able to write with one hand and draw with another at the same time.
- A theory suggests that Mona Lisa was being entertained by clowns and musicians while Leonardo was painting her.
- Once when he studied the erosion of rivers, he figured out that the earth is other than the Bible.
- Da Vinci planed for an armoured car in 1485.
- He designed the first bicycle ever.
- It’s said that it took Leonardo about 10 years just to paint the Mona Lisa’s Lips.
- Leonardo believed that sight was the most important sense of the mankind.
These were some interesting Leonardo Da Vinci facts, the renowned painter of centuries.
Leonardo da Vinci Death
Leonardo Da Vinci death is result of a probable stroke. He moved to the Château of Cloux, near Amboise in France, where he died on 2 May 1519 at the age of 67. He continued work on his scientific studies until his last day; his assistant, Melzi, became the principal heir and executor of his estate.
It is said that when death came to him, The King Francis I who loved to listen to Leonardo talk so much that he was hardly been apart from him at that moment, cradled his head as he breathed his last. He was buried nearby in the palace church of Saint-Florentin. After years, while talking about his friendship King Francis said, “No man possessed such knowledge of painting, sculpture, or architecture as Leonardo, but the same goes for philosophy. He was a great philosopher.”
A French artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted Leonardo da Vinci death in 1818 showing the painter dying, with Francis I of France holding his head. It was commissioned by the Pierre Louis Jean Casimir de Blacas, the French ambassador in Rome, and now hangs in the Petit Palais in Paris.
Today Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his art, including that remains worlds most famous and admires ones, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. He was a true genius. Just like William Shakespeare on Literature, Leonardo’s impact on art is tremendous. Throughout his life he has avoided the intrigues of worldly ambition. He never was concerned with glory , he was a reserved and withdrawn man and yet sure of the value of his abilities. Leonardo da Vinci becomes the centre of a movement of artists that has permanently enriched the western culture. Leonardo’s paintings and drawings still remain at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds centuries after his death also. His innovative breaks from artistic standards of his day would guide generations of artists.