Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci [1452 – 1519] • part II

Presumed Self-Portrait
Italian painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect of the High Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci

was born,

April 15, 1452

in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, Italy

Leonardo is among the greatest painters in the history of art and is often credited as the founder of the High Renaissance.

Despite having many lost works and less than 25 attributed major works—including numerous unfinished works—he created some of the most influential paintings in Western art. His magnum opus, the Mona Lisa, is his best known work and often regarded as the world’s most famous painting. The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time and his Vitruvian Man drawing is also regarded as a cultural icon. Salvator Mundi*, attributed in whole or part to Leonardo.

Revered for his technological ingenuity, he conceptualized flying machines, a type of armored fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance. Some of his smaller inventions, however, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, hydrodynamics, geology, optics, and tribology, but he did not publish his findings and they had little to no direct influence on subsequent science.

Long thought to be a copy of a lost original veiled with overpainting, it was rediscovered and restored. Christie’s claimed just after selling the work that most leading scholars consider it to be an original work by Leonardo, but this attribution has been disputed by other specialists, some of whom posit that he only contributed certain elements.

So here’s a glimpse of this master’s work & words
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

A plan of a weir and embankment on the Arno east of Florence

❝ The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.❞

A storm in an alpine valley

❝ Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.❞

Madonna and Child

❝ There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.❞

A horse with lines of proportion

A tempest

❝ Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.❞

Head of Christ
Virgin of the Rocks
Virgin of the Rocks [Christ Child and angel detail]

❝ Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.❞

A map of Imola

❝ Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.❞

A scene in an arsenal

❝ He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.❞

Portrait of a Musician

❝ The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.❞

A scheme for a canal to bypass the Arno

❝ Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.❞

A masquerader on horseback

❝ People react to fear, not love – they don’t teach that in Sunday School, but it’s true.❞

An ox and ass, and other studies of asses
Madonna Benois

❝ Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.❞

A horse’s left foreleg, with measurements
An Angel in Green with a Vielle
An outcrop of stratified rock

❝ Art is never finished, only abandoned.❞

Saint John the Baptist
Vitruvian Man

❝ Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?❞

Cats, lions, and a dragon

❝ Nature is the source of all true knowledge. She has her own logic, her own laws, she has no effect without cause nor invention without necessity.❞

Portrait of a Young Lady
Red chalk study
The Head of the Virgin in Three-Quarter View Facing Right

❝ Learning never exhausts the mind.❞

Unfinished painting of Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

❝Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.❞

Antique warrior in profile
Leda and the Swan

❝ Necessity is the mistress and guide of nature.❞

A horse in profile, and from the front

❝ Our body is dependant on Heaven and Heaven on the Spirit.❞

A study of drapery for a Salvator Mundi
Scenes of the Apocalypse, with notes

❝ Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.❞

Horses – St George and the Dragon – and a lion

❝ While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.❞

Mona Lisa

As the title suggests, this is the second part of my tribute to Da Vinci. Here is the first part:

For more information on Da Vinci:










23 replies »

  1. He lived a long life for those days, when 30 – 40 years was average.
    Must have been the wonderful art and curious inventions kept him going.
    These profiles you do are fabulous, Marina.
    Thank you!

  2. Loved scrolling through all of these painting and drawings Marina, He certainly was a master at his art… 💖
    Happy Easter to you both my friends
    Love and mega hugs 💕🌷🌷🌷💕

  3. Shown here is a rare portrait of the great man by friend and artistic associate Francesco Melzi (completed some time after 1510).
    Francesco Melzi (fl. 1491 – 1568/1570) was an Italian painter. He was the son of a Milanese noble family. Melzi joined the household of Leonardo da Vinci in 1506. He accompanied Leonardo on trips to Rome in 1513 and to France in 1517. As a painter, Melzi worked closely with and for Leonardo. Some works which, during the nineteenth century, were attributed to Leonardo are today ascribed to Melzi.
    Upon Leonardo’s death, Melzi inherited the artistic and scientific works, manuscripts, and collections of Leonardo, and would henceforth faithfully administer the estate.

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