Leonardo da Vinci Painting
by Brian Honeycutt
The Leonardo da Vinci painting Mona Lisa is perhaps the best known of all Renaissance works. This painting has been reproduced on T-shirts, stamps, lithographs, and virtually all forms of modern day media. The painting is also a part of a remarkable history that extends beyond the Renaissance. The Mona Lisa has had extensive books written about it, has been subject to parody from the experimental Dadaists and Surrealists, and was even stolen from the Louvre in 1911.
The Last Supper, another Leonardo da Vinci painting, typifies the humanist nature of The Renaissance and the Christian atmosphere in which it was created. Unfortunately, this painting was almost lost completely due to da Vinci's inadequate fresco preparations, a technique that was then necessary for the preservation of paintings.
Despite its frayed nature, the painting is generally met with looks of awe and inspiration for its highly skilled portrayal of an important moment in Christianity's history.
Yet, these paintings alone do not make Leonardo da Vinci the ideal candidate to represent the Renaissance. Rather it is his skills in virtually all areas of 15th century society that bestows this heavy title upon him. Skilled work with machines, draftsmanship, sculpting, and architecture, a beautiful voice, proficient knowledge in mathematics and the other sciences were all things people thought of when they heard the name Leonardo Da Vinci.
Painting, rather remarkably, was actually something that the Florentine took lightly from time to time because of his interests in other areas.
If you are looking for a copy of a specific Leonardo da Vinci painting, you are in luck! Reproductions of all of the great master's paintings can be found at many sites on the Internet. Posters, shirts, mugs, and postcards are also available at many art museums, particularly those that currently hold original Leonardo da Vinci paintings.
If you would like more specific information about a certain Leonardo da Vinci painting, books are definitely recommended. Books have been written that include everything from reproductions and basic information of every Leonardo da Vinci painting to books that analyze da Vinci's place in art history are readily available at most book stores.
Leonardo was not the only great artist to come out of the Renaissance. Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian were some of the other well known artists to come out of this period. Many of their artworks were influenced by the same things as any Leonardo da Vinci painting. As with most Renaissance artists, Michelangelo was also highly proficient in a number of skills. Michelangelo was a sculptor, architect, and poet as well as a painter. Raphael, however, is known mostly for his paintings, particularly his many Madonnas. Raphael and Titian are also different from the Florentines Leonardo and Michelangelo because of their birthplace in Rome and Venice respectively.
Leonardo’s rise to fame and glory during one of humanity’s most prolific periods is even more amazing considering his modest beginnings. Born as the illegitimate son of a local lawyer in the small town of Vinci in the Tuscany region, personal ambition and talent were almost entirely responsible for the ascendance of Leonardo da Vinci. Painting was not even considered as a possible career when he was born. Certainly he was not expected to become one of the most renowned artists in human history. Yet, Leonardo went on to study with the then master Andrea del Verrochio, far surpass his tutor’s talents, and the rest, as they say, is history.
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