By Darla McCammon
Leonardo Da Vinci is our sixth famous artist.
Leonardo da Vinci is most well known for his “Mona Lisa” painting that proudly hangs in the Louvre in France. But did you know that Leonardo’s painting we share this week of Ginevra De’ Benci (photo provided) has the greatest value per square inch of the paint in her portrait? Another unique thing to note in this and two other da Vinci’s paintings is the psychology of the moment he captured these three women. Students have pointed out that the face of Ginevra reflects sadness and a withdrawn spirit, that the Cecilia Gallerani portrait displays a wistful spirit and lastly, the Mona Lisa is considered a painter’s oxymoron with her wistful and amused smile.
Did you know that da Vinci kept The Mona Lisa to himself and worked on it many times over the years? He only quit working on that painting when poor health intruded in his painting activity.
DaVinci is regarded as one of the world’s most incredibly talented and diverse individuals, not just for his amazing ability in art for painting and sculptures but for his studies and knowledge in science. Some of his inventions were far ahead of their time with visions of things we have only seen in our current level of technology such as flying machines. His notebooks full of drawings and notes on a wide variety of subjects are widely admired and studied. Only Michelangelo has come close to the genius of da Vinci.
Scholars who study the life of Leonardo da Vinci are shocked to find he had no formal academic training and that he was the result of a liaison between his wealthy legal notary father and a peasant woman. His father did assist with some education, mostly under the tutelage of Andrea del Verrocchio, a famous Italian artist. This was fortuitous for da Vinci who maintained a long working relationship in the Verrocchio studios, meeting many other successful artists. He also worked for Moro in Milan and following that, he did work in Rome, Venice and Bologna. This helped him to achieve recognition and many commissions that helped him become financially secure and his work in demand.
It would be unusual not to find Leonardo da Vinci listed under the most famous painters of all time. Mona Lisa, the most famous portrait in the world and The Last Supper are easily recognized as is Vitruvian Man. His Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for $450.3 million–a record.
Da Vinci had great technological inventiveness. In addition to flying machines, he drew armored vehicles, imagined using solar power, drew up an adding machine and many more things that are actually feasible today—but not during his lifetime. A few of his smaller inventions were created but he was not constrained to engineering. He is credited with creations in anatomy, geology, optics, hydrodynamics and other areas his creative mind roamed.
His early life was spent in a little hamlet with his mother, but by 1457 he stayed with his father, grandparents and uncle. His father married several times and ultimately DaVinci had 12 half-siblings by the time he was 40 years old. The life of Leonardo da Vinci is well-documented. If you have an opportunity look up his life on the internet and read about this extremely gifted and interesting artist.
.COMING UP: New and exciting exhibit at Lakeland Art Gallery. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. 302 E. Winona Ave. Warsaw. Phone: (574)-267-5568. The exhibit ends March 27. Marc Eckel will be exhibiting at LAA on March 31. Eckel is a successful artist and has traveled worldwide with the famous music group “Casting Crowns” to display his unique artwork, in person, at those concerts Questions or comments for column Author/Artist Darla McCammon? Email: [email protected]. Want to be a potential exhibitor? Contact me. Subject: Art exhibit