Leonardo Da Vinci Review

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Art ・MLA ・8 Sources

Giorgio Vasari was the first person to piece together Leonardo Da Vinci’s bibliography drawn from his pals and former pupils fifty years after his death in 1568. Though a treasured description it is viewed as having incorrect readings and exaggerated legends of the man himself in modern times. Since then historians have tried to piece together an accurate account of his lifestyles but due to the very little information that is available, there are continually disagreements surrounding some facts on the artist’slife. This paper discusses his bibliography and his first two artworks.

Since Leonardo’s family had resided in the city of Vinci for generations the family decided to take the title Vinci to be its surname and on April 15th 1452 at 10:30 pm, Leonardo Da Vinci was born. The time and date was entered by his grandfather Antonio Da Vinci on Leonardo’s baptism day in the family’s leather bound book. Being that Leonardo’s mother Catherine was unwed her name was not entered there in as it made the childillegitimate. Therefore it was not against the norm when a mother with Leonardo’s status was omitted from any recordings (O’Connor 8-9).Leonardo’s father on the other hand SerPiero Da Vinci stayed away in Florence as his notary career of drafting contract and preparing legal documents kept him there and never had much time in raising the young Leonardo. His wealthy notary status allowed him to use the titleSer before his nameand also prevented him from marrying Leonardo’s mother who was a peasant girl (O’Connor 9).With both of his parents marrying different people and his mother moving away, Leonardo ended up living with his grandparents Antonio and MonnaLucia. However it was his father’s brother Alfresco who gave the young Leonardo the time and attention he required. After their chores the two would set off to explore the fields and the woods (O’Connor 11).

In 1465 a young teenageLeonardo left Vinci for Florence and arrived in the city in quite an exciting time, the renaissance which literary means the rebirth of France and Florence was the center of it (O’Connor 14). Due to his illegitimate status Leonardo was not allowed to attend university and though his family was not poor apprenticeships seem like a good option and so his father took him to Andrea Verrocchio a famous artist at the time to become and apprentice in the artist workshop(O’Connor, 17). Leonardo had no knowledge of art when he went to his mentor’s workshop but his sharp mind, eager curiosity and a talented teacher propelled him to be one of the most sought after artist of his time. Apart from being taught well by his mentor Leonardo also came into contact with writer’s scholars and artistswho came to the workshop to exchange idea. His mentor also taught him to use perspectivetechniques, geometry, mathematics and shading to bring perspective into their paintings (O’Connor, 21).

Towards the end of his life Leonardo was constantly ill and a stroke left him paralyzed on his right side of the body. However from his notebook it is clear that he was very active and his physical work carried out by an assistant. He became obsessed with science and experiments and was notorious for not finishing his artwork. Leonardo died at the age of 67 leaving all his all his works to his pupil Francesco Melzi (The National Gallery London).

First Work of Art

Leonardo’s first work of art was done when he was only 20 years old title the Annunciation. It is a portrait depicting the appearance of angle Gabriel to the VirginMary. The archangel is on his kneeswith a raised right hand speaking to Mary in the Florentine garden and Mary on the other hand is depicted with her left hand angled towards Gabriel’s in response. The background on the other hand consists of trees and a mountain under a grey foggy sky. Thepainting was recognized to be Leonardo’s due to the distinctstyle that he used in all of his painting. In this particular one the depiction of draperies and clothing is consistent with his style. Its approach and the atmosphere of the background (totally history )

The Annunciation having been painted in oil and tempa was originally thought to be Domenico Ghirlandaiountil 1869 when experts notice the distinct painting styles of Leonardo Da Vinci. In the painting the angel is holding a lilywhich symbolizes virginity. As for the clothing, it was Botticelli who influenced Leonardo’s clothing of the characters who are portrayed dressed up in renaissance garments. Leonardo was known to draw inspiration from what he saw and this is clear in the portrait as the angels wings as said to be from a bird he saw from the sky but elongated them in the painting itself ( Laurel, Andrew, Megan, Christy and Melissa 33).

There is confusion as to whether Leonardo completed the painting alone and the one glaring factor is the marble table on the painting. It is argued that since the marble table in the painting was inscribe with a quote on from the tomb of Piero and Giovanni De’mediciwhich was sculptured by Verrocchio and place in the basilica ofsanLorenzo inFlorence. Due to this factor is it thought that his mentor Verrocchio might havehelped Leonardo with the painting (Laurel, Andrew, Megan, Christy and Melissa 33).

Either way Leonardo was under Verrocchio for quite some time and the familiarity with which he had with him and his paintings could have inspired him to paint the painting the way he did entirely by himself or he would have had a helping hand from his mentor.

Two versions of the painting exist with one in Uffizi gallery in Florence and the other in the Louvre in Paris. TheLouvrepainting is doubtful as the small pane is perfect and in particular the angles wings. However strong evidence suggest that the pradella is an altarpiece part painted for the pistiocathedralthat was begun by Verrocchio and consequently executed by Lorenzo Di Credi .The version in Uffizi however has proof that Leonardo did certainly have a hand in it and this comes in the form of drawing of the angels sleeve that is without a doubt his and one of early drawing confirmed to behis. The “Leonardesque” of the painting is quite obvious by his use of lighting and shade that gives a shadowy effect. With this in mind it is quite clear that the Uffizi version of the Annunciation is the one that is widely accepted to the actually leonardos work (lairweb).

Second Work of Art

The Last Supperis one of Leonardo’s most famous works and was commission by dukeLudoviko Sforza for the refectory or the monasterySantaMaria DelleGrazier in Millan. Leonardo had to used mixed oil and tempa and put it on a dry wall in order to make the painting. The painting has the effect that the room whichJesus and his disciples sat was reflectory. The scene shows figures in a square room with coffers on the ceiling and tapestry on the either side of the room. A beautiful landscape can be seen through the window where the wall breaks. Christ is in the center among the apostles his body forming a triangular shape not overlapped by the apostles. The painting consists of four sets of apostles at the table besides Christ and this arrangement was symbolic to the artist as there are four gospels in the bible and tree people in the trinity (Italian Renaissance).

Christ is also the center of psychology in the portrait. Thescene is of Christ and his disciples having their last meal on the night before Christ passion and death. More so the moment is when Christ reveals to his disciples that one of them will betray him. This moment enables the artist to explore the psychological reaction of the figures involved. Judas however here is shadowed so that only part of his face is seen as he clutches his bag of silver. This particular portrait builds on early renaissance traditions of composition and perspective (Italian Renaissance).

It is worth noting that Leonardo was a known procrastinator with a marked tendency of leaving his works halfway and when he was commissioned to work on the last supper he began in 1495 and completed it on 1498.The painting specifically depicts the first few moments after Jesus told his disciples that one of them was going to betray him and all twelve reacted differently.(Esaak) .

Judas in the painting might have been modeled after a real life criminal as was with the faces of the apostles in the painting and when it came to JudasLeonardo is said to have scoured the jails of Milan for a perfect match (puchko). Being that Leonardo drew inspiration on what he saw this is not a far-fetched fact.

The Last Supperhas survived many perils that include king Loui’sinvasion 1499 making an attempt to cut the mural from the wall. Invasion of the French revolutionaries in 1796 where the invading troops used the refectory to vent out anticlerical feelings by throwing rocks at the painting and gouging out the apostle’seyes. The most dramatic incident on the painting was when the allied troops boomed the refectory in 1943howevera protective cover was put over the painting saving it (Cain).

In conclusion my reason for choosing this artist is due to the numerous controversies and legends that surround the man and his work. His talent and signature styles on his paintings. The above discussion truly shows that Leonardo was a remarkable artist and really the Renaissance man.

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Works Cited

Laurel, Andrew, Megan, Christy, Melissa. word press.com . 2012. 14 april 2017 < https://pureandlowly.wordpress.com/queen-of-heaven/167-2/ >.

Totally History http://totallyhistory.com/annunciation/ . 2012. 14 april 2017 < http://totallyhistory.com/annunciation/ >.

Cain, Aine. Business Insider. 12 april 2017. 14 april 2017 <Aine cain april 12 2017,business insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/last-supper-leonardo-da-vinci-2017-3?IR=T/#its-a-miracle-the-painting-has-survived-3>.

Essak, Shelley. Thoughtco. 14 april 2017. 14 april 2017 < https://www.thoughtco.com/the-last-supper-leonardo-da-vinci-182501>.

Lairweb. lairweb. n.d. 14 april 2017 <.(http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/annunciation.htm>.

O'Connor, Leonardo Da Vinci: Renai Barbara. Leonardo Renaissance Genius . Meneapolis : carolrhoda books inc , 2003.

Puchko, Kristy. Mental Floss. 2 april 2017. 14 april 2017 < http://mentalfloss.com/article/64372/15-things-you-should-know-about-last-supper>.

Renaissance.Org, Italian. 2016. 14 april 2017 < http://www.italianrenaissance.org/a-closer-look-leonardo-da-vincis-last-supper/ 2015.>.


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