Leonardo Da Vinci2










Leonardo Da Vinci




Dustin Jackson
November 17, 1999
Mr. Teal



Leonardo da Vinci is probably the most famous complex artist of the Renaissance and perhaps all time. But what many people don’t know is that he wasn’t just a genius in art he also excelled in sculpting, architecture and he was also an inventor.

Leonardo was born in a small stone house on April 15, 1452. Leonardo started off interesting from the way he was conceived to what happened to his grave after he died. He was born an illegitimate child in the small town of Vinci. We don’t know much of anything about his mother accept her name was Caterina and in town history she was known to be a barmaid. On the other hand we know much about his father. His fathers name was Piero da Vinci, he was in his mid twenties when Leonardo was born and he worked as a lawyer in the small town of Vinci and later moved to Florence where he became a very accomplished lawyer. Piero was a man who seemed to have bad luck because he had four wives and three of them died. He wasn’t the nicest guy either because he wasn’t going to take Leonardo in until he found out his new 16 year old wife was barren and then he did because he wanted a child. While Leonardo was growing up his father noticed his artistic talent and at the age of 15 his father took him to Florence to an art studio where he worked under Giorgio Vasari. Vasari wrote much about Leonardo after his death. He wrote that Leonardo had "a spirit and courage invariably royal and magnanimous"(The World of Leonardo, pg12) and he "could sing and improvise divinely"(The World of Leonardo, pg12). In Vasari’s biography you can tell that he had much respect for Leonardo he pictures him as a happy young man that was a singer, flute player, and could converse for hours. Leonardo was entered into the painters guild shortly after his apprenticeship and started painting. Its weird though that Leonardo is known so much for his painting when he painted just over a dozen of them. But when you see Leonardo’s paintings you can always tell that they are his by the lack of contour his paintings don’t just flow together he has more color transitions flowing together instead of the shapes flowing. One Leonardo’s greatest feats though was when he was working under Vasari and Leonardo painted an angel holding some garments in Vasari’s painting and it totally surpassed Vasari’s work. Vasari later said that he felt that God had put Leonardo in his life to learn from him. Leonardo was also a very experimental painter for example in the Mona Lisa he painted in oil paint which was new from north Italy and normally in these types of paintings they would use an egg tempera. And he did this to try to out do his master Verrocchio which was one of the greatest painters of the time. Leonardo was also one of the first to use the whole landscape in his paintings he didn’t just focus on the human figure and use the landscape for the backdrop. One of the few drawings he did that he ever saw fit was the Arno Landscape many people call it the "first true landscape"(World of Leo, pg. 30) This drawing is drawn with pen with quick motions which brings life into the drawing in this drawing he already seems to master of light and depth of atmosphere. The first painting in his early group of paintings is the Annunciation its not a great work of Leonardo’s you can tell he is a young artist here. His next painting was the Ginvevra which is the Italian term for a juniper tree the painting is actually of a women its the type of painting a women would have done before her wedding but you can tell that Leonardo was not found of the women by the sad look on her face and the name of the painting. After this painting Leonardo went into a period with the theme of the Virgin and Child he did this for 4 years of his life some of the paintings during this period are