Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da VinciSeldom would one encounter a person who hasn’t heard of Leonardo da Vinci, well, at least in most of the countries that have long appreciated the paintings of the masters from long ago. That is how well-known this ancient Italian painter has been in the modern world. da Vinci would forever be attached to his very well known masterpiece and probably the most recognizable painting of all time, the ever enchanting Mona Lisa. This great master of the arts

Discovering the master behind the well known masterpiece would require a look at his colorful life. Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 at the town of Vinci in Italy. He was an illegitimate son of an Italian notary public, Messer Piero and a farmer’s daughter named Catarina.

Little has been known about his early life inasmuch as that which were provided in little bits and pieces by Leonardo himself in some of his journals as well as by Vasari, a well known biographer of Renaissance painters in the 16th Century. The stories usually tell of the talents that Leonardo exhibited as a child. Early on, Leonardo’s exceptional talents were already surfacing.

When Leonardo was in his teens, he became a apprentice to Verrocchio who was one of the more proficient artists of his day. Verracchio’s workshop was then the center of education in the city of Florence. Being an apprentice there gave the young Leonardo the best education in the humanities at that time along with being an artist.

From there, Leonardo not only was educated in the arts as well as in the humanities, he was also able to develop a keen interest in machinery which he found at Verracchio’s workshop. In a sense, Leonardo was being fully molded as both a painter and an all around genius during his stay at the renowned artist’s workshop.

Although Leonardo da Vinci was known as an exceptional painter, he was only able to make fewer painting masterpieces as compared to other well known painters in his time. Among his masterpieces that has come to be admired all over the world were the famous Mona Lisa with her mysterious smile and the Last Supper.

Both paintings have become one of the most influential works during the Renaissance Era. Leonardo’s masterpieces were known for their distinct qualities borne out of the innovative techniques that the renowned artist used.

Many students and other painters in his time tried to learn from the innovations that Leonardo da Vinci was able to make. The contemporaries in Leonardo’s day were even amazed at his detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, geology and botany as well as his keen interest in physiognomy or the study of human gestures and emotional expressions. He was also known for his pioneering methods used in figurative composition as well as the subtle use of tones in his artworks.

What makes Leonardo da Vinci one of the most exceptional painters to ever come out is that he was not only famous for his paintings alone. He was also known as a prolific draftsman. During his lifetime, he was able to come up with quite a number of journals full of sketches and detailed drawings. His journals recorded much of what kept Leonardo da Vinci occupied when he was not painting.

Other than entires on initial sketches of what was to become Leonardo’s limited number of art masterpieces, the journals also contain, among other things, sketches and what may look like engineering drawings detailing innovative designs that were yet not accepted or known during his time.

What makes it a very exceptional achievement for the painter is that he lacked formal education in mathematics but he was able to become an accomplished engineer with his marvelous capacity to absorb and learn things through observation. Leonardo da Vinci

Image Source: Wikipedia

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