There are certain individuals in the world that have transformed the word success. They have reached the heights of it and they are known as a legend. Leonardo Da Vinci was among those individuals that are claimed to be the greats of the world. He was a sculptor, a painter, an architect.
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His numerous skills have earned him the name of “renaissance master”. In this paper we will highlight the greatness of this legend and we will focus on the masterpieces he has produced. The life of Leonardo and his achievements are discussed in detail.
Leonardo was an epic individual and he was born on April 15, 1452. The place of his birth was Vinci and he was a member of the Tuscan hill town which was located near the Amoco River and was included in the territory of Florence.
His father’s name was Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci. It was quite astonishing that Leonardo doesn’t have any surname and Da Vinci means from Vinci. He was living with his father at the at the age of 5 and his father married a sixteen year old girl who was interested in Leonardo but unfortunately she died in an early age.
Leonardo started training at a very early age and he was apprenticed to one of the best artist of his times Andrea di Cione, who was also known as “Verrocchio” (Phillps, 2008). He slowly and gradually become very experienced and earned a reputation of a legend.
Pablo Picasso was known as the biggest rival of Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century. Leonardo was known as the master of all the fields and arts and science. He is known as one of the most famous painters ever lived in this world. His diversity and his sense of seeing things in an artistic manner was the beauty of this man.
A great artist and a true legend
He was primarily known as a painter and his most famous works are “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”. These two painting are occupy a seniority among all the other paintings of the world and these two paintings are treated as the most parodied and the most reproduced paintings of all times.
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His drawing of the Vitruvius Man is also of iconic nature. Leonardo Da Vince developed a huge number of paintings but about 15 (fifteen) of his paintings survived because of his experimentation with new techniques.
The most famous painting of Leonardo is known as the “The Last Supper” and it was actually painted in Milan. The idea that was described in the painting was the last meal shared by the Jesus Christ with all his disciples before his capture and his actual death.
The moment when Jesus said “one of you will betray me.” was displayed beautifully in that monument. The story of consternation was displayed in an effective manner by Leonardo.
He lived for 67 years and experienced a career which was filled with success and fame. At certain times he was also humiliated and casted away. His life experiences affected his work and often his paintings were partially completed.
Although a hefty amount paintings were developed by Leonardo but very few of them remained because some of them weren’t completed and the others were destroyed. A total of 20 notebooks of Leonardo are found which easily depict the quality centered work of Leonardo. These note books are preserved and all of his work in scattered in different areas of the globe.
Painting of a life time – Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa of Leonardo di Vinci is the most famous and the most celebrated paintings of all times. The greatness and the mastery of this painting are depicted by its subtle details. The faint smile is the most noticed thing of this painting and this painting at the time of its creation till now is one of the masterpieces of all times.
This work of Leonardo is said to be commissioned by a gentlemen who requested Leonardo to paint the picture of his wife. That’s why the painting of Leonardo da Vinci is also known as the paining of La Giaconda. However, many scholars are not agreeing on this point and they are rejecting this theory.
Besides being the most renowned painting in the world, Mona Lisa is considered to be one of the widely reproduced paintings of all the times. There are many posters, paintings and reproduction available in different hues and different sizes. Many great artists like Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Botero reproduced the work of Mona Lisa in the form of oil paintings, self portraits etc (Heaton, 2001).
The use of this epic painting doesn’t end there and Mona Lisa is used in items like jewelry, clothing and even in the modern day advertising Mona Lisa is used. It is also used as the sign of mockery that Mona Lisa having marijuana, Mona Lisa having braces etc.
Thus, the beauty of this painting will always remain and it can easily be predicted that the epical paintings of Leonardo di Vinci will be reproduced.
The Last Supper (1495-1499)
The last Super is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Leonardo’s work and historians suggest that it took 3 years of dedicated work of Leonardo to produce this epic painting. About, 500 years are passed yet this painting remains the most studied painting of all times.
The concept of the painting is quite clear and Leonardo beautifies it with his elegant brush work. Leonardo was asked to paint the supper of Christ with his disciples. Leonardo was immensely talented and therefore he chooses to paint the moment when the Christ declared the name of traitor.
The 12 disciples of Leonardo were very cleverly divided into three groups and they were surrounded by Christ. Christ arms were open and they were divided and he was depicting a triangular shape. This triangular shape was expressing the “Divine Trinity” which was quite beautifully displayed by Leonardo. Geometric shapes are used quite effectively in this painting in order to create groups.
Judas was included in the rest of the disciples and in most of the paintings of other artists Judas was separated from the group. This inclusion of Judas in the group makes the painting attractive and people called it a masterpiece because of this. The crystal clear display of the painting and portraying the notion of disciples was quite extraordinary.
This painting of Da Vinci is found in most of the holy institutions and homes around the world. Similarly, the reproduction of these paintings is an effective way to bring Leonardo at home. Although, many paintings of Leonardo are long lasting and they are timeless too, but this painting is chipping way and although people are making efforts to save this real painting and restorations have taken place to conserve this painting.
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Illustrations of Leonardo – Vitruvian Man
Besides other paintings and sculptors, Vitruvian Man is considered as the best illustration of Leonardo Di Vinci. He used both the text and the image to present his ideas. This illustration of this great artist praises the divine by properly creating the proportions and measurements of the human body. Different artists prior to Di Vinci have tried a lot to explain this theory but most of them have failed to express the right ideas of Vitruvian Man.
This illustration is a beautiful combination of pen ink drawing of a male whose figure is outstretched and it’s touching the circumference of the circle and the edges of the square. The naval of this individual falls exactly in the centre of the circle. The text surrounds the entire figure and the figure is static in nature but the dynamism of Da Vinci’s art portrays it as a living being.
This illustration depicts the clearness of words and image. The core idea of this illustration is to gather the ideas of architecture, art, anatomy in a single image. The importance of this illustration lies in its clear reflection of ideas.
Leonardo Di Vinci in his early times was asked by his father to paint a round shield. He gathered his thoughts and started to paint a really creepy head. He brought all sorts of lizards, bats etc and started to paint a really disgusting monster that was exhaling poisoned gases. After seeing the painting his father was so astonished that he predicted that his son would definitely be an artist.
He was himself an example of his quote which was “art is never finished, only abandoned (Stanley, 2000).”He was considered to be a castle of knowledge and his realistic attitude was quite evident in every walks of life. He moved from one topic to another and keeps on changing his interests.
Usually when he studied one subject for a long time a questions arises in his mind that he might change his interest. That’s the main reason why he completed only six pieces in just 17 years. He completed his 6 pieces when he was in Milan his masterpieces at that include “The Last Supper” and “The Virgin on the Rocks”. Many projects and paintings were not completed which also includes “Big Horse”.
However, he posses the tendency of not spending the time idle and when he wasn’t painting, sculpturing or involved in any other form of art he was usually studying. His major interests were studying the fields of science which includes anatomy, zoology etc. He has the tendency to spend hours in unlocking year old theories and framing new concepts from his mind.
When Leonardo was in Milan he was constantly occupied by the Duke of that time. He was allotted the work to paint the complete design the festivals of the court. The Duke offered Leonardo to show his talents and he asked Leonardo to design weapons, machinery and buildings. Leonardo was deeply involved in religious affairs and he also designed a number of churches.
All of his ideas were ahead of his time and as an engineer he used to conceptualize a helicopter, a calculator and certain other modern day inventions. Some of his engineered designs can be used at that time and some were constructed too.
But some of his inventions entered the manufacturing arena after a certain time but reports suggest that these inventions and their concept were unfortunately not acknowledged. Besides being a top notch painter he excelled in the field of science and certain ideas of Leonardo Di Vinci revolutionized the fields of optics, hydrodynamics, and anatomy.
At that time those who write with left hands were disgraced and the society didn’t like left handed people. Left hander writers were forced to write with their right hand. At that time Leonardo explained this phenomenon and said that this “difference” is a sign of genius and this is a distinctive feature in them. He was amongst the initiators of reverse writing and his writings can easily be deciphered through the mirror.
Leonardo was informed about the death of his father on July 9, 1504 but due to the evil nature of his step fathers he was not given the share of inheritance. Shortly, after the death of his father he was given the notice about the death of his uncle. He fought with his brothers and then ran with the money and some land that was inherited from his uncle.
He started to work n Rome, with his newly inherited money and he opened a workshop and he was involved in working for the projects of pope. He left France in the year 1516. Leonardo was considered to be the best painter when he was in France. In France Leonardo was working for Francis I and his job was near royal chateau an Amboise.
When Leonardo di Vinci left France he was suffering from paralysis and this affected his right hand. However, he was still working and fulfilling his passion. He continued his paintings and started to teach people who were interested in paintings and arts. Besides, arts and paintings he also started teaching anatomical studies and engineering.
Thus in a nutshell we can conclude that Leonardo Di Vinci was one of the most influential individuals from the field of arts and architecture. He was a true legend and his paintings truly display the element of geniuses in Leonardo. He was undoubtedly one of the most famous personalities in the Italian Renaissance.
He left his marks on all the fields which include arts, architecture, science, anatomy, anatomical studies. His reputation in entire life time was immense and influenced many contemporary artists of that time. He not only influenced great painters of Florentine like Raphael but also impressed the painters of Milan and Northern Italy. His painting of Mona Lisa is considered to be the best among all and it’s the most reproduced paintings of all times.
Heaton, M. (2001). Leonardo da Vinci and His Works. Adamant Media Corporation.
Phillps, J. (2008). World History Biographies: Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius Who Defined the Renaissance. National Geographic Children’s Books.
Stanley, D. (2000). Leonardo da Vinci. HarperCollins.