Leonardo is best known for his art because he truly was talented and he was really good and versatile. He was arguably one of the best painters in Europe, but many people don’t realize that his works go farther than just a piece of art. Leonardo Da Vinci was a really incredible painter and a scientist during the Renaissance and he is a role model to me. He was such a complex man and I think he was way ahead of his time. His works and his extremely creative mind have influenced people’s fields of knowledge even today and have affected us greatly.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 and he was born as the illegitimate son of Piero Da Vinci a notary, and a peasant girl, Caterina. She might have even been a slave in the Middle East. Not so much is known about his early life, but we know that he was born at Vinci in the region of Florence and was raised with his mother for his first few years. Then he went to go live with Piero, his dad and was educated in the studio of the Florentine painter, Verrocchio. There he gained a lot of knowledge drawing, painting, sculpting, and he learned many crafts and technical skills too. He was a very fast learner and supposedly he even surprised Verrocchio by how fast he learned. (Biography of Leonardo Da Vinci) This is where his talents first came out in the world, and he showed his real worth.
Painting and Inventions
Leonardo was considered a true Renaissance man because he was a scientist, inventor, sculptor, and painter and he was interested in how things worked. He would look at how muscles move, how veins were arranged in leaves, and more. He wrote all his observations on nature and stuff in a notebook and filled it up with notes and sketches. He incorporated his observations and findings into his art. He was very interesting and mysterious, and he wrote most of his notes backwards, and the only way to read it was to use a mirror. Nobody to this day knows why he did that but that’s just how he was. (Beck, et al. 475)
Not that many of his paintings made it through the time for us to admire today but a few did and we are grateful. The Mona Lisa is the most popular by far from him and it’s just a painting of a girl. The picture to me is just do perfect and I am astonished at how he did it so precise. Nobody really knows who she actually is but people have their theories, but we will just never really know whom he drew. The other most popular painting by him was The Last Supper. The painting is a picture of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and the reason it’s so famous is because of all the emotion in all the disciples’ faces. It would be really hard to paint with so much emotion and detail in every person in the painting. “The result is a complex study of varied human emotion, rendered in a deceptively simple composition (Last Supper, 2018).” This proves how talented he was and how he portrayed emotion and how long it would’ve taken to do so much for 12 disciples and Jesus’ emotions. How do you draw or portray emotion? He did it and I think I can say that everyone was impressed. It’s sad that only about 15-20 of his paintings made it today but at least a few of them made it.
Leonardo really did influence people and help them with his techniques. Raphael adopted some techniques from Leonardo, and even Michelangelo, his rival, adapted some of his signature techniques to make similar, realistic figures. Leonardo’s signature techniques, unique placement of figures, and improvements upon perspective were all previously never heard of. “His innovative breaks from the artistic standards of his day would guide generations of artists that followed (Leonardo Da Vinci, his Life and Artwork, 2011).”
He also had many inventions and was incredibly smart and creative. In his journal he made observations about nature and sketched about them. What we have found in his journal was also a lot of science and invention ideas. Leonardo loved animals and loved watching them. In fact he was a vegetarian his whole life and would sometimes buy caged birds just to let them go into the wild. He liked birds a lot and he was fascinated that they could fly. A lot of his inventions came from watching birds, and they inspired him to want to fly.
He was a really good guy who loved nature and hated war. That’s ironic because in his journals we found drawing plans for the first armored car, deadly weapons, and more. Those drawings helped us earlier to make those inventions like tanks, helicopters, auto machine guns, hang gliders, parachutes and more. He had many drawing plans for other fun things such as bicycles and inflatable tubes to float on water (Leonardo Da Vinci Facts).
His inventions couldn’t be tested back when he lived because of the lack of technology. That’s why I hoped he would’ve lived a little later to see his inventions come to life and make even more inventions. It would be really cool and amazing to see his inventions come to life and it would be cool to see all his paintings too and learn from him. Its too bad he lived like 500 years before us. This world would’ve really been different if Leonardo were here today but at least we can learn a little of him today from his journals.