Over the next five years or so, he produced several notable paintings, including Madonna of the Carnation,Ginevra de’ Benci, Benois Madonna, Adoration of the Magi, andSt. Leonardo was a prolific draughtsman, keeping journals full of small sketches and detailed drawings recording all manner of things that took his attention. As well as the journals there exist many studies for paintings, some of which can be identified as preparatory to particular works such as The Adoration of the Magi, The Virgin of the Rocks and The Last Supper. His earliest dated drawing is a Landscape of the Arno Valley, 1473, which shows the river, the mountains, Montelupo Castle and the farmlands beyond it in great detail. An exceptional exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci will be presented at the Musée du Louvre in the fall of 2019. A unique group of artworks that only the Louvre could bring together, in addition to its outstanding collection of paintings and drawings by the Italian master. Among the students who joined his studio was young Milanese aristocrat Francesco Melzi, who would become da Vinci’s closest companion for the rest of his life.
He did little painting during his second stint in Milan, however, and most of his time was instead dedicated to scientific studies. Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance artist and engineer, known for paintings like “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa,” and for inventions like a flying machine.
Leonardo’s notes and drawings display an enormous range of interests and preoccupations, some as mundane as lists of groceries and people who owed him money and some as intriguing as designs for wings and shoes for walking on water. There are compositions for paintings, studies of details and drapery, studies of faces and emotions, of animals, babies, dissections, plant studies, rock formations, whirlpools, war machines, flying machines and architecture. This château was the splendid home provided by François I for Leonardo, whom he appointed “First Painter, Engineer and Architect to the King,” a position for which the artist received a princely allowance.
But the rest of the world was just beginning to share knowledge in books made with moveable type, and the concepts expressed in his notebooks were often difficult to interpret. To the present day, art enthusiasts worldwide consider the iconic “Mona Lisa” to be among the greatest paintings of all time. Her image continues to appear on items ranging from T-shirts to refrigerator magnets, and rather than trivializing the import of the masterpiece, this popularity serves to immortalize Leonardo’s paintings and drawings. They still remain at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds centuries after his death. Upon the French invasion of Milan, the artist returned home, via Venice and Mantua, to Florence. His reputation preceded him, and he was lauded by old friends and up-and-coming artists captivated with his innovations in art.
Leonardo da Vinci ( ) was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. His natural genius crossed so many disciplines that he epitomized the term “Renaissance man.” Today he remains best known for his art, including two paintings that remain among the world’s most famous and admired, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Largely self-educated, he filled dozens of secret notebooks with inventions, observations and theories about pursuits from aeronautics to anatomy.
During this final era of his life, da Vinci completed a greater number of paintings than he had thus far. When he resettled in Florence in 1500, the artist made preliminary progress on his painting, Virgin and Child with Saint Anne,” which he would set aside unfinished, not to be completed for another 10 years. After leaving the Verrocchio studio to set up his own, da Vinci began laying the groundwork for his artistic legacy. Like his contemporaries, he focused on religious subjects, but he also took portrait commissions as they came up.
Much of his other creative output during his time with Verrocchio was credited to the master of the studio although the paintings were collaborative efforts. Over the years, historians have closely examined such Verrocchio masterpieces as The Baptism of Christ and The Annunciation to weigh in on which specific figures da Vinci was responsible for. In fact, historians x-rayed “The Annunciation” to definitively distinguish between Verrocchio’s heavier brush strokes with lead-based paint from da Vinci’s lighter, water-based paint strokes. Renaissance humanism recognised no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo’s studies in science and engineering are sometimes considered as impressive and innovative as his artistic work. These studies were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy . They were made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo’s life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him.
Some remarkable drawings from this period, done on French-made paper, illustrate his work on hydraulic projects, festivities for the king and a monumental equestrian sculpture. Clarification of his biography has also emerged through the exhaustive reexamination of archival documents. The exhibition will paint the portrait of a man and an artist of extraordinary freedom.
Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman — the epitome of a true Renaissance man. Gifted with a curious mind and a brilliant intellect, da Vinci studied the laws of science and nature, which greatly informed his work. His drawings, paintings and other works have influenced countless artists and engineers over the centuries.