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Born in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was a great genius who graced the world with great work of art. He left a notable legacy and become one of the most influential artists in the history of the world. His legacy was not only in the field of art but also in the field of science. His contribution in everything he touched was of a unique genius. There is no better artist today whose work beats that of Leonardo da Vinci. He majored on religious art and painted pictures such as that of the Last Supper and the Baptism of Christ. The paper is an in-depth analysis of the life of Leonardo da Vinci and his contributions to artistic work. It focuses on the experiences shaping his life and the various conflicts he faced in his work (Capps, 2007). The paper closely examines his artistic work including tones, colors, images, and styles. His artistic techniques are also analyzed.
Having been born in Tuscan, a town close to Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci commenced an apprenticeship that lasted nine years under Andrea del Verrocchio at the age of 14. Andrea del Verrocchio was an important figure in the world of arts than through his sculptors, goldsmiths, and paintings. He learned the works of art at Verrocchio's Florence studio (Wilkins, 2001). There, he met other renowned artists such as Sandro Botticello who gave him a great insight into artistic work. He obtained his official recognition as the Medici family sculptor. The family was the Italian ruler then. He made a progress from the unskilled duties to preparing surfaces and the mixing of tapes under Verrocchio. Later, with the assistance of Verrocchio, he was able to produce master's artworks. He was able to develop not only skills in painting, drawing, and sculpting but also fields such as metallurgy, chemistry, architectural drawing, carpentry, and mechanics. He managed to complete the Landscape Drawing for Santa Maria della Neve when he was half his training. The picture was a depiction of Arno River Valley using pen and ink. His drawings were of a massive contribution to the legacy he left. Da Vinci explored the anatomy of human, drew landscapes, planned inventions, and sketched prolifically. The most lasting art by Da Vinci is the Last Supper. Most of the paintings Da Vinci did during his time with Verrocchio are credited to the studios master. Some of the paintings were as a result of collaboration. He joined the Florence Painters in 1472. He, however, continued to study with Verrocchio till in 1476.
Da Vinci faced several challenges in the practice of his arts. He suffered an accusation of hiding his artwork through the use of mirror-images (Capps, 2007). He faced insults from those who undermined his abilities. He also liked leaving most of his paintings unfinished. The French troops used the clay model for Gran Cavallo. A considerable number of his inventions were never actually built. His scientific facts were not established thus any affecting later science.
Da Vinci used the style called sfumato. It helped in the creation of synergy between shadows and light in his painting through the subtle gradation of tone. He mastered the use of the technique. To achieve sfumato's effect, he chose a range unifying mid-tones including green, blue, and the earth colors with similar saturation levels. The mid-tones enabled the creation of a subdued tone for the pictures as they could break unity, unlike the bright colors. The sfumato style allows the blending of the mid-tones into shadows. There is then the dissipation of color to the Monochromatic darks (Jozsa, 2009). His paintings were in different surfaces at times; he could make use of wet plaster or painted on a dry stone wall. In most cases, he made use of paints of oil from groundnuts, but he later used the tempura from egg whites. He worked on a board, a canvas, or a stone.
The images had several lines. The curved lines were a representation of ease and comfort. The horizontal lines were a suggestion of calm and distance. The vertical lines represented strength and height. Paintings were of regular shapes. The pictures were representations of biblical themes or events in the Bible. Most of his paintings had hidden symbolism. The Last Supper is one of the most discussed paintings by Da Vinci. It shows that Da Vinci the knowledge about the later life of Jesus.
Several messages are sent by the paintings by Da Vinci. In the Last Supper, Da Vinci reveals numerous meanings and codes which he hides in the pictures. The painting shows the astrological and mathematical code during the time nearing the end of the world. The painting also reveals some music in it (Jozsa, 2009). Da Vinci leaves a music sheet in the painting. A drawing of a musical staff on the table, the rolls of bread, and the hands of the Apostles combined to form some musical note. The time period of the creation of the arts boosts the painting of more magnificent paintings as creativity was highly utilized, unlike the computer world where technology has overtaken creativity.
Da Vinci has been of a significant contribution to the world of arts. There are several places where someone seeking the skills can go. One such place is Santa Maria dele Grazie where the images of the Last Super are placed on the wall of the Dominican convent. The paintings can also be found at Czartorski Museum in Krakow. The creation of the museum was in 1796 to help in the preservation of polish heritage. The Louvre in Paris is a home of substantial artwork collection such as the Mona Lisa. The Uffizi gallery in Florence is another great collection of the works by Da Vinci. The paintings in Uffizi Gallery were done by 1482. The National Gallery in London also stores Leonardo's important works such as ‘The Burlington House cartoon' and ‘The Virgin of the Rocks.'
Leonardo has been of much influence on the world of art. His rival Michaelangelo and Raphael adopted the signature techniques used by da Vinci to produce paintings of active but similar figures. His works have been proper guidance to the artists who rose later. His pictures were unique in terms of the placement of figures, the improvements on the previous works of art, and the signature techniques. His painting on the Last Supper strikes the artists who try to reach that standard. The image of Mona Lisa still fresh in people's mind as it continues to appear on T-shirts. The impact Leonardo has brought to the society is significant. However, h never tried to show off his capabilities. He renames to be the center of arts in the world.
Jozsa, L. (2009). Movement and gait analysis of Leonardo da Vinci. Biomechanica Hungarica.
Capps, D. (2007). The Mother Relationship and Artistic Inhibition in the Lives of Leonardo da
Vinci and Erik H. Erikson, 47(4), 560-576.
Wilkins, D. (2001). The Writings and Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci: Order and Chaos in Early
Modern Thought. Sixteenth Century Journal, 32(2), 509.
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