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Leonardo de Vinci as an Artist, His Life and Work

Introduction

It is impossible to imagine contemporary art without such an outstanding figure of the Renaissance as Leonardo da Vinci. He is known not only as a genius painter, sculptor, and architect but as a prominent scientist, engineer, and inventor. In our short research, we will try:

  1. to highlight the main tendencies, which are adherent to da Vincis art vision,
  2. to research the factors which make his masterpieces so vivid,
  3. to observe the general impact of the genius artist on the world of painting.

Leonardo de Vinci and the tendencies of his artistic vision.

The life of Leonardo da Vinci was far from being easy. Being a son of a notary man and a peasant woman, he got his education in the studio of Verrocchio, who was a celebrated Florentine painter (Bambach para. 9). There is little information about this period of Leonardos life and his relations with his mentor. From time to time Verrocchio allowed Leonardo to paint minor details in his pictures. In this regard, there is a legend that in the famous Verrocchios picture The Baptism of Christ, one of the small angels was painted by Leonardo. The mentor, impressed by the talent of his pupil, threw his brush, thus recognizing the fact that Leonardo had exceeded him.

Nevertheless, Leonardo was not appreciated by his contemporaries to the full extent. In Florence, the land where he began his creative career, he was known mostly as a musician and the creator of strange musical instruments, but not as a painter. As well as in Milan, authorities perceived Leonardo mainly in the role of an engineer.

Leonardo da Vinci created a huge amount of masterpieces and there were those among them, which were not finished (“Leonardo da Vinci” para.3). Leonardo conducted himself as an experimentalist. The art for him was an unending quest and a solution to the new problem. At this point, Leonardo differed from Michelangelo, who in one block of marble saw the future statue, for the creation of which it was necessary just to chop off whatever was not needed. Unlike this concept, Leonardo was always in constant search. He experimented with everything: with light and shade, with the palette, even with color combinations. Sometimes, these experiments were not successful. In fact, the technique used by Da Vinci in his famous masterpiece The Last Supper was unsuccessful; the picture began to molder several years after its completion.

Leonardo de Vincis technique on the example of The Last Supper

The mentioned masterpiece The Last Supper deserves special attention. This mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci is situated in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan. (Heydenreich para.5). It is considered to be the peak of the creative work of the great painter. This work is impressive not only by its composition but also by its accuracy. Da Vinci depicts the psychological state of the apostles at the precise moment it reaches the critical point. Looking at these masterpieces, there is a feeling that Christs words are heard. In this work, da Vinci uses the method of figure contrast in a full manner, due to which every character appears as a unique personality. The settled eye of Christ emphasizes the excitation state of other characters. The beautiful face of Christ contrasts with the fright writhed of Judahs visage.

In the creative work of da Vinci, the important tendency which predetermined the future development of art may be observed. This tendency is the combination of literature, classical mythology, liberal arts with scientific cognition of nature. The thought and the picture are viewed by Leonardo as the two ways of perceiving reality.

The main factor of Leonardo da Vincis charisma as a painter is his specific technique, which remains an enigma even in the present day. As we may see in the example of The Last Supper, the general characters of the picture are not stable. Leonardos characters are vivid. His paintings are full of motion, action, and life. In his masterpieces, he tries to express the transitional state of the object. A great part of the researchers shares one view, that by means of this technique Leonardo achieved the effect of La Gioconda’s smile.

Conclusion

The creation of da Vinci can hardly be overestimated. He is considered to be one of the most prominent representatives of the Renaissance, and his creations predetermined the further development of the Renaissance culture.

Works Cited

Bambach, Carmen. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). 2002. Web.

Heydenreich, L-udwig.”Leonardo da Vinci“. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. Web.

Leonardo da Vinci. 2015. Web.