The Works of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most talented people in history. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, and a writer. The phrase “Renaissance Man”, meaning someone who knows and does many things very well, was created to describe Leonardo’s many talents. Leonardo da Vinci was a very curious person and wanted to know everything about nature. He was born in Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452.
Leonardo began his art career as a teenager and worked as an apprentice under a famous artist. During his apprenticeship he learned the principles of art, and began drawing, painting, and sculpting. These were the foundational years that eventually led to him creating some of the most famous artworks in history.
His famous paintings are The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. The Last Supper is a painting of the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. It was painted as a mural on a wall in Milan, Italy and is almost 30 feet wide. Da Vicini started the painting in 1495 and completed it in 1498. This painting is famous because of its use of the one point linear perspective technique. This where the relationship between high, width, depth, and position create a 3 dimensional image and emphasise a figure, in this case the figure is Jesus Christ.
Later in his career, Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned by a wealthy french merchant to paint the The Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa was painted around 1503, and depicts an unknown woman with a mysterious smile. Historians believed the Mona Lisa took approximately 4 years to complete. Leonardo was one of the first artists to paint in the 1 point perspective which uses the background in portrait paintings.
Leonardo was also a skilled inventor and scientist. His journal has over 13,000 pages of inventions and scientific drawings. Some of these drawings are of technology that we have today such as helicopters, machines, and musical instruments. He also studied the human body and drew anatomical depictions of his theories.
Leonardo’s notebooks are hard to read because he wrote backwards using mirror writing. He did this because he was left handed and it was the easier way to write with a quill pen. His notebooks were published after his death. Many are housed in European museums and libraries and continue to give us insight into the awe and curiosity that Leonardo da Vinci had for the natural world.