leonardo da vinci masterpieces
Leonardo was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro coin, textbooks, and T-shirts.
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”, and he is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent in recorded history, and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, while the man himself mysterious and remote”. Marco Rosci notes that while there is much speculation regarding his life and personality, his view of the world was logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unorthodox for his time.
On the reverse side of the painting, a wreath of laurel and palm encircles a sprig of juniper (ginepro in Italian—a pun on the sitter’s name), and a scroll bearing the Latin phrase “beauty adorns virtue” entwines each of the flora. The truncated appearance of the reverse side suggests that the painting may have been cut at the bottom, possibly because of damage from water or fire. Some scholars speculate that the portrait on the obverse would have included Ginevra’s hands and propose that a silverpoint study of arms and hands housed at Windsor Castle may have served as a preliminary drawing.
Many art historians identify the youthful woman in Lady with an Ermine as Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of Leonardo’s patron, Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan. The ermine was often used as an emblem for the duke. The woman turns her head to the right, her bright eyes seemingly directed toward something outside the frame. Although the painting has been heavily overpainted, notably the dark background, it nonetheless reveals Leonardo’s knowledge of anatomy and his ability to represent character in posture and expression. He captures the girl’s youth and genial nature in her guileless features, attentive gaze, and tender embrace of the ermine, which sits with its head cocked regally and alert. Her slender hand reveals the complicated bone structure beneath the skin, just as the head of the ermine suggests the skull underneath the finely rendered fur.
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 Giocondo to paint his wife. The precise date of completion for “Mona Lisa” is still in question, but many historians agree that da Vinci began the masterpiece in 1503.
Verrocchio, who had learned his craft under the master Donatello, was the officially recognized sculptor for the Medici family, the rulers of Italy during this era. Under Verrocchio’s tutelage, da Vinci probably progressed from doing various menial tasks around the studio to mixing paints and preparing surfaces. He would have then graduated to the study and copying of his master’s works. Finally, he would have assisted Verrocchio, along with other apprentices, in producing the master’s artworks.
King Louis XVII of France is said to have commissioned Salvator Mundi after his conquest of Milan in 1499. The painting is a portrait of Jesus in the role of saviour of the world and master of the cosmos. This is reflected through symbolism. His right hand is raised with two fingers extended as he gives divine benediction. His left hand holds a crystalline sphere, representing the heavens.
Leonardo’s genius in this work was in capturing a complicated emotionality through a look and a sideways gesture unconventional for portraiture. His study of the human body and its movement allowed for this precise capture of expression that is layered with subtle undertones that intrigue the viewer and invite them into the intimate world of his subject. Its lifelike immediacy captivated audiences. As art critic Sam Leith put it, “Give the painting a really good, close look and you’ll see she really does have the very breath of life in her. just distracted by a noise, caught in a living moment. ”
This Andre Rieu Violin Show Turns into a Hilarious Party
Check out some of Shin Lim’s most magical performances in this awesome compilation!