Leonardo da Vinci: A True Renaissance Man

Da Vinci- Introduction

This extremely famous man was born on April 15, 1452 and dies in May of 1519. He was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and even an inventor. He is renowned for his artwork including the Last Super and the Mona Lisa. Da Vinci was born illegitimate to Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci and a peasant named Caterina. He showed his obvious talent at a young age. He was excellent with music; he learned to play the lyre and sing. Math was also his strong suite. He designed and invented the parachute and the helicopter. He also made important discoveries in the human body and engineering. Da Vinci had written all of his discoveries and designs in notebooks. He wrote backwards in them. Some say it was because he was left handed, therefore writing from right to left would make it easier. Others say it was to simply protect he precious ideas. In the end, Leonardo da Vinci died peacefully in May of 1519.


The Mona Lisa

One of the most famous pictures of Leonardo da Vinci is the Mona Lisa. This incredible painting is actually one of the most visited art attractions in the world. Da Vinci started this painting in 1503 and worked on it for four years. In 1516, he had moved to France and continued to work on it there for another three years. It is said to be that da Vinci painted himself into the Mona Lisa. If you overlap a sketch of him and the painting, they have many similar features. The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, where it is today in around 1911. 2 years later, it was found. A Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen it. A year later, in 1913, the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre, where it is safe.


The Last Supper

The Last Supper depicts the exact moment when Christ announces that one of his disciples is a traitor. This painting covers an entire wall and was started this project in 1495 and it was completed in 1498 taking a total of only three years to complete. Due to the fact that the artist painted the Last Supper on dry plaster rather than wet, it began deteriorating very quickly. Therefore, it was restored many times. In 1726, Michelangelo had attempted to restore the Last Supper. He filled in missing pieces and patched up the deteriorating parts. Unfortunately, his repairs did not last long. A man named Giuseppe Mazza restored it. Today, the painting is well preserved in the dinning hall of the Santa Maria delle Grazie Convent in the city of Milan, Italy. It is visited many times a year and is a true masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci.



Techniques Used by da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci is known for creating his own techniques. The Florentine Style was a popular method used during the renaissance era but Da Vinci only used it a handful of times. However, Leonardo did use styles like chiaroscuro, androgyny, the pyramid affect and a repeating pattern of geometric shapes. Chiaroscuro is a process of shading, blending, and making the painting show dept and shadow. Androgyny is where a painting or sculpture can look like a boy or a girl; similar to the Mona Lisa or John the Baptist. The Last Supper shows the pattern of geometric shapes. Da Vinci uses triangles and rectangles through out the piece. It keeps it clean, neat, and easy to see what is being depicted. The pyramid affect is also used in this piece of artwork, along the Mona Lisa. The pyramid affect is where the figures are placed in a triangular pattern. In the Last Supper, the disciples are grouped. If you look at Christ, he is in the shape of a triangle.


Da Vinci Overall

In the end, Leonardo da Vinci is known as one of the greatest artist of all time. He is considered the Renaissance man (and a party animal). Da Vinci invented new things like the helicopter and parachute and painted many famous pieces like the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, John the Baptist, and Madonna of the rocks, just to name a few. Da Vinci discovered so many things that our lives would be hopeless without. He introduced us to the human body and engineering. He didn’t follow anyone else; Leonardo da Vinci was a leader. He has taught us so much about life and he has probably had the greatest impact on modern society in America today. This is why everybody loves Leonardo da Vinci!