Leonardo Davinci Essay Research Paper The Renaissance

Leonardo Davinci Essay, Research Paper

The Renaissance Man

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most talented and respected

artists of all time. Leonardo, the illigitamate son of Ser Piero

da Vinci and a peasant woman named Caterina. He was born on April

15,1452 in a lion colored home at the bottom of the Tuscan Hills,

in the village of Vinci, wich is what his name comes from meaning

from Vinci(Summers,p.1).

Da Vinci was said to be the first artist to be considered

equal to royalty, maybe because other artists lacked something

that da Vinci had, an imaginative, highly complex scientific mind.

By incorperating his mind power and his art he managed to create

painting that move hearts, minds, and souls(Wohl,p.6).

Leonardo kept a journal-sketchbook in which he recorded his

thoughts, scetches and designs of his latest creations. Though no

personal feelings were recorded, we still have learned a great deal

about his personality. It was aparrent that Leonardo was a man of

many contradictions and uncertainties, these things are primarily

reflected by his diverse thoughts, and his neverending search for

the perfect form(Bacci,p.5). For me the most interesting thing

found in his sketchbook is the manor in wich he recorded

information,in a way that a normal glancing eye can’t

deciphere his right to left, reversed letter print(Wallace,p.13).

In the late 1460’s, Leonardo became an apprentice to Andrea

Del Verrocchio, who was the leading painter and sculptor in

Florence at the time. After some years Leonardo finished his

apprentiship to Verrocchio, he stayed and went on to become his

assistant(Summers,p.1). At age 20 da Vinci was admitted into the

in 1478(Wallace,p.16). Shortly after he received a

commission to paint a church altar piece Known as the adoration of

the kings. This particular piece like many others remained

unfinished due to his leaving of Florence. Even though some works

were left inccomplete, he did manage to produce many life studies,

and many designs, one of them being a water powered


Leonardo Moved to the city of Milan in 1482 and became coart

artist for Ludovilo Sforza,the duke of Milan. da Vinci had a

number of rolesas coart artist. As a military engineer da Vinci

designed artillary and complex fortresses which could be a great

resource during times of war. As a civil engineerhe divised a

stages for pageants that were to be held in town, da

Vinci also made plans and studies for a huge monument ofthe dukes

father mounted onto a horse, though it either was never


leonardo’s painting career and acomplishments can be divided

into two major time periods, the Florence years, and the Milan

years. da Vinci’s first documented paintingwas in 1475 when he

assisted Verrocchio with the Baptism of Christ by painting the

angel. Then in 1478 he began to paint the so called Benois and

finally finished in 1480. At the same time that he finished

Benois. he started on Saint Jerome, even though it reminded

unfinished it is still considered to be a hallmark of his mature

style. Probably one of the most important of his early paintings

was the Adoration of Magi. This painting displays for the first

time, his method of organizing object into pyramids so that the

point of intrest is focused on the main subject. This painting

was started in 1481 but was also unfinished because of his move to

Milan 1482.During his years in Milan, da Vinci produced Madonna of

the Rocks, the supposed meeting of the christ child, an altar

piece that was started in 1483 and took two years to complete.

That painting was then followed by Duke Lodovico’s favorite

portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, this particular painting took a

total of five years to complete. In 1495 da Vinci began to paint

The Last Supper, a 13′10”x 29′7.5” piece that shows Jesus at the

table with the apostles around him. One talked about feature of

this painting is the startled looks that da Vinci placed on the

apostles faces. The Last Supper was painted for the refectory of

the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie(Brown,p.2).

Around 1508 da Vinci’s painting career started to draw to an

end. A painting of the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is one of

the only paintings that remain from his last ten years

(Wallace,p.18). During his last years, Leonardo became first

painter and engineer to francis the first, king of france. Under

King Francis, da Vinci worked on many anatomical drawings,

of the the worlds greatest artists came to an end. It was said

that da Vinci in fact died in the arms of King Francis


da Vinci was praised as the highest expression of the

reaissance(Bacci,p.9). The career of Leonardo da Vinci is a

perfect example of the renaissance belief in man’s power to shape

his own destiny and to shape the world around him(Wohl,p.14).

Works Cited

1 Bacci,Mina,Leonardo.New York:Avenel Books,1978

2 Brown,David,Leonardo da Vinci.Grolier Electronic Publishing


3 Summers,David.”Leonardo da Vinci” The World Book Multimedia


4 Wallace,Robert.The World of Leonardo.New York:Time


McGraw-Hill Book Company,1967



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