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paintings and art-collection blog

paintings and art-collection blog

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( Italian polymath,1452 – 1519)


Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, having been a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Born as the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant girl, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, spending his final years in France at the home given to him by King François I. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. 
Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also iconic. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, comprise a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. As an engineer, Leonardo's ideas were vastly ahead of his time. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics. (From Wikipedia)
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda), 1503-1505


Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper (1495-97) is one of the most famous paintings in the world. The original mural can still be seen in its original location: the refectory wall of the former Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Annunciation, 1472-1475
Madonna Litta, 1490-1491
Madonna with the Yarnwinder.1510
Madonna con un garofano. 1473
Mary Magdalene
Leda. 1515
Andrea del Verrocchio
St John the Baptist, 1513-1516
Portrait of a Musician, 1490
La belle Ferronire. 1490
St John in the Wilderness (Bacchus)
Leda. 1510
Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani
The Virgin and Child with St Anne, 1510-1515
Battle of Anghiari
Ceiling decoration, 1496-1498
Interest in and curiosity about Leonardo has continued unabated for five hundred years.Modern descriptions and analysis of Leonardo's character, personal desires and intimate behavior have been based upon various sources: records concerning him, his biographies, his own written journals, his paintings, his drawings, his associates and commentaries that were made concerning him by contemporaries.
They included the mathematician Luca Pacioli , with whom he collaborated on a book in the 1490s, as well as Franchinus Gaffurius and Isabella d'Este .  Leonardo appears to have had no close relationships with women except for his friendship with the two Este sisters, Beatrice and Isabella. He drew a portrait of Isabella while on a journey which took him through Mantua , and which appears to have been used to create a painted portrait, now lost. His sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation.
Statue of Leonardo in Amboise

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