Leonardo da Vinci: A Man Ahead Of His Time



616180b66c5a48becf7969ccd685270b.jpg
Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
EARLY LIFE

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born on April 15th, 1452. He was the son of Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci and Caterina da Vinci out of wedlock and was raised in the city of Vinci, where he acquired his name from. His skills regarding reading, writing, and mathematics were limited as a boy. However, his artistic ability was portrayed from a young age. His father recognized his talent early on and was able to have Leonardo apprenticed by Andrea del Verrocchio at the age of 15. At this time, Verrocchio was known as an incredibly talented and successful artist. During Da Vinci’s long lasting apprenticeship with Verrocchio, he was given the opportunity to develop a variety of skills and talents. Some of which included painting, sculpting, drawing, drafting and carpentry. His earliest dated piece of work was a simple landscape of the Arno Valley, drawn with pen and ink in 1743. By the age of 20, Leonardo was considered a master artist in Florence’s Guild of Saint Luke. He then went on to start his own workshop, while continuing to work closely with Verrocchio.


RISE TO FAME

In 1478, Da Vinci was commissioned for his first piece, an altarpiece for the Chapel of St.Bernard. Almost three years later he was alsocommissioned to paint the “Adoration of the Magi.” When other opportunities appeared, Leonardo decided to go another route, abandoning both these pieces. For the next 17 years Leonardo made a living in Milan as a successful artist. He became known as an extraordinary painter and was commissioned for works such as “The Virgin of The Rocks” and “The Last Supper”. Leonardo later moved to the Vatican in Rome working among Michelangelo and Raphael under the guidance of Pope Leo X. During his time spent in Milan, he completed 6 pieces while simultaneously focusing on developing his scientific knowledge. Da Vinci always viewed art and science as one and believed that they were always connectedin a some way or another.
Leonardo_Da_Vinci_-_Vergine_delle_Rocce_(Louvre).jpg
Virgin Of The Rocks - 1485


NOTEBOOKS

Throughout his studies, Da Vinci compiled a number of notebooks in which all his ideas were drawn and written down. From every thought, to theory, to great new invention, Da Vinci put it in his books to never be forgotten. He closely studied both art and science, and was a firm believer that “Art was guided by science, and science was expressed through art.” His illustrations in his notebooks ultimately helped him to become a better artist, specifically his drawings of human anatomy. Through his drawings, scientists and inventors were able to build off of his original ideas. Today, people use Da Vinci’s approach to knowledge in order to carefully study and investigate new theories. With his thorough interest in human anatomy, he illustrated different parts of the human body, varying from a fetus in the uterus to the vertebral column. In order to accomplish such in depth, detailed drawings, Da Vinci took on the task of dissecting nearly 30 human corpses. Due to each dissection, he was able to achieve his level of perfection. Although his original intention was to do so, he never ended up publishing his illustrations. Though if they had been published, Da Vinci would have completely transformed how anatomy was studied in Europe at the time.
c13159-27.jpgdvman.jpgcodex.jpg

INVENTIONS

Da Vinci always tried to accomplish so many things in his lifetime that many ideas and projects were left unfinished. Many famous inventors and scientists who have made notable contributions to society developed their original ideas from Da Vinci himself. Leonardo’s talent as an artist helped support his imagination when it came to science. Da Vinci was able to contribute across multiple fields rather than just one, which ultimately helped future inventors, scientists, and artists. Today, Da Vinci can be viewed as much more than an artist due to his many inventions. He designed machinery and many practical tools that would became useful long after he died. Many of his inventions did not come to life until after his death due to them being far too advanced for the time being. Leonardo’s inventions varied from anything that could help him around the house to things such as industrial machines. His ultimate goal was to make his life as well as the peoples around him more practical.
Leo-104.jpg
Da Vinci's Parachute Sketch

Da Vinci Inventions
Flying machines
3-Barreled Organ
Fighting vehicle
Perpetual motion
Parachute
Ornithopter
Machine Gun
Diving Suit
Self-Propelled Cart
Armored Tank


FAMOUS WORKS: MONA LISA & THE LAST SUPPER


The Last Supper is a mural painted on plaster between 1495-1498 which has been studied, copied, and mesmerized by people all around the world for years. It is considered to be one of Da Vinci’s most popular pieces and was originally created for the refectory of the city’s Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The way Da Vinci portrayed this scene was nothing short of incredible, emphasizing Christ in the centre with the empty space surrounding him. He was also praised for the way Judas is represented in the painting, whose face is lost in the shadow. This depiction of the apostles sharing a meal before Jesus’ resurrection immediately became famous all over Europe, ultimately heightening Da Vinci's popularity.

Further, Da Vinci painted The Mona Lisa between 1503-1519 in the city of Florence. It is considered to be the world’s most famous painting, portraying a woman in front of a distant landscape. In Francesco del Giocondo had requested Da Vinci paint this portrait of his wife, Lisa. Da Vinci develops sfumato within his painting of Mona Lisa and ultimately connects humanity and nature together through the harmony of the painting. The approach he took to the portrait was not considered traditional of the time which brought more attention to the piece.Though Da Vinci never got around to completing the piece after four years of working on it, the facial expression of the subject as well as the techniques used to create this piece became a major part of Da Vinci's history.
d9ba4b3af101a008248b18667bca4b1bbe173a5a.jpg
Mona Lisa
Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Last_Supper_(copy)_-_WGA12732.jpg
The Last Supper - 1498


DEATH AND IMPACT

Da Vinci died in 1519 at the age of 67. Considering his vast number of skills, Leonardo da Vinci can easily be considered as the most influential polymath of the Renaissance time period. He left a long lasting impression on society through his incredible work as an artist, sculptor, drawer, engineer, carpenter, and many other talents. Thanks to Da Vinci’s ideas and inventions society was able to undergo technological and artistic advancements. Without Da Vinci’s knowledge and discoveries, the world would not have advanced at the rate it did which would ultimately cause us to perceive things much differently today. Through impacting science with his detailed notebooks, ideas, and theories; as well as influencing other artists and their approach to specific art techniques, he ultimately altered the course of history.
the-baptism-of-christ.jpg
The Baptism Of Christ - 1475
self-portrait-leonardo.jpg
Self Portrait - 1512
Leonardo_LEV023.jpg
Madonna Of The Yamwinder - 1501