Renaissance Artists: Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

There is a city called Florence, in Italy. There was a man in this city. He was a lawyer. There was a woman. She was from the village side. They both fall in love. They were not husband and wife, but their out-of-marriage relationship produced a boy. 

What happens to such an illegitimate child? Abandoned? Lost? No. Nothing of that sort had happened. The boy cared for himself. He got well-educated and he got himself professionally trained. He made his fortune on his own. The boy became a golden page in the history of mankind. The boy became the most famous artist in the world. 

Yes, his name was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). He never took a formal education. But he had learned and consolidated the entire body of mediaeval wisdom. He was the book of the books. For the formal training in the arts, he had worked as an assistant or apprentice to several artists and other persons. During this training period, he lived in the cities of Milan and Florence.  

Leonardo became an artist, he became an engineer, he became an architect, he became a sculptor, and he became a scientist. However, the world knows him as an artist, the great painter. Leonardo da Vinci earned his fame by painting great art-pieces. His most famous art-works are these:

  •   The Last Supper in Milan (1495-97)
  •   Mona Lisa in Florence (1503-06)
  •   Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) (1500)
  •   The Vivian Man (1485-1490)

Leonardo resided in several cities: Milan, Florence, and Rome. He lived in France, too. He kept painting, he kept producing sculptures and he kept inventing and adding to his scientific studies. He was living in France when he died in 1519.

"He illustrated the mathematical and philosophical ideas of his time. Instead of thinking I do believe in angels, or I don't believe in angels, he thinks, how do angels work?" says art historian William Feaver.

Let us talk about some of the art-works painted by Leonardo.

The Vivian Man  

This is a drawing done by Leonardo during the period of 1485-1490. Leonardo had a concept about the proportions of the human body. In this drawing, he had tried to depict the ideal proportions of the limbs which a human body can have. Leonardo narrated every part of the body: in height, in length, and in size. It is purely a physical science and mathematical study.

The writing and narration which is given with the drawing The Vivian Man is a scientific revelation. Had Leonardo not been an artist, he would have been the best physician of the day only due to the knowledge he had revealed in the notes attached with the drawing The Vivian Man.

Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) (1500)

Salvator Mundi  Oil on
Walnut Wood Leonardo da Vinci

This is the painting of Jesus Christ. It is the most expensive painting in the world. It was sold for $450 million.

In this painting, Jesus Christ is painted in the contemporary dress, the renaissance-time dress. His raised fingers are the symbol of The Holy Cross. And the ever-charming smile of Jesus: this is the wonderful piece of art Leonardo had depicted in this painting. However, this painting has a history of lost and found. It has a history of undergoing several renovations, too. There is hardly any part of the painting that is not renovated. But the painting is in the safest position today.

The painting is Oil on a Walnut Panel. The size of the painting is 45.4 cm x 65.6cm. The painting was acquired by the department of culture and Tourism, Aby Dhabi. It was purchased for Louvre Abu Dhabi. Presently the painting is owned by Mohammad bin Salman, who is a crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF retouched
Mona Lisa Leonardo da Vinci
Oil on Poplar Wood 
Louvre Museum, Paris

Mona Lisa

This is a painting that hardly needs an introductory caption below its image. People know her. People love to look at her. The art-lovers adore the smile that had been made immortal 500 years ago. The painting has remained the most beautiful portrait since it was painted in the year 1503-06. This portrait is famous for its painting technique applied by Leonardo. This shadowy technique is known as sfumato.

The size of the painting is 77cm x 53 cm. The title of the painting is Portrait of Mona Lisa del Giocondo.

Presently it is displayed at Louvre Museum, Paris. This painting has a history of lost and found. However, the painting is famous for its mysterious smile. 

The Last Supper

The painting narrates the most important event of the Christian Religion. In this painting, Jesus is sitting with all of his disciples. In this supper, known as The Last Supper in various religious books, Jesus told his disciples that one of them would betray him. For the disciples, that was a shocking declaration by Jesus. Jesus is sitting in the middle. This mural painting is done on the wall of the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in the city of Milan, Italy.  Its size is 700cm x 880cm.

The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16
The Last Supper   Leonardo da Vinci 

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