artist canvas
Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

15.04.1452 Vinci, near Empoli (Tuscany) - 02.05.1519 Cloux, near Amboise, France

Art history: Renaissance

Canvases of Leonardo da Vinci [87 canvases]


Short information:

Leonardo da Vinci was the embodiment of the Renaissance ideal of the universal man, the first artist to attain complete mastery over all branches of art. He was a painter, sculptor, architect and engineer besides being a scholar in the natural sciences, medicine and philosophy.

Biography of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born on the 15th of April, 1452 as an illegitimate son of the notary Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci and his mother, a peasant woman Caterina, in a small town called Vinci, near Empoli, Tuscany. The first four years of his life were spent in a small village near Vinci with his mother. After 1457, he lived in his father's family, which soon moved to Florence. At the age of 15 he became an apprentice of the Florentine painter and sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio and although in 1472 he entered the San Luca guild of painters in Florence, which would indicate that he had attained a degree of professional independence, he remained with Andrea del Verrocchio until 1480. His first known work, which he painted as an assistant, is the angel, kneeling on the left of the Verrocchio's picture The Baptism of Christ (c.1472-1475). Verrocchio, it is said, was so impressed by the implications of his pupil's genius that he gave up painting. Another work of this period The Annunciation (c.1472-1475) was attributed to Leonardo, but probably not all the picture was painted by him. However, it is generally accepted that the overall composition, the figure of the angel and the landscape are his. There are several other surviving works from this period, such as Madonna with the Carnation (c.1475), Madonna Benois (c.1475-1478), Portrait of Ginevra de'Benci (c.1478-1480). Leonardo received a commission to paint an altar piece St. Hieronymus (c.1480-1482), which was never finished, and to create a large panel Adoration of the Magi (1481-1482) for the church in San Donato a Scopeto, which was not finished either. Unfortunately, it was to be repeated with many of his works: many of them were never finished.

In 1482, Leonardo moved to Milan in the hope of obtaining the patronage of the ruler of the city Ludovico Sforza, also known as Ludovico Moro for his dark coloring. Leonardo offered his services as a military engineer, sculptor and painter.

In 1483, he was commissioned to make a large altar piece The Virgin of the Rocks (1482-1486) for the Franciscan Confraternity in the Church of S. Francesco Grande. Another version of this picture was created later. Being the court painter, sculptor and engineer he created Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with an Ermine) (c.1490), Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferroniere) (c.1490), several small Madonnas, such as Madonna Litta (c. 1490), worked on the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza (father of Ludovico Moro), which was created as a huge clay model of the horse, but the project was never cast in bronze. Leonardo painted The Last Supper (c.1495-1498) for the refectory of the Dominican Monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is considered the first work of High Renaissance. His representation of the theme has become the epitome of all Last Supper compositions. Unfortunately, he experimented with the paint and this led to the damage of the fresco, the paint began to crumble almost after the fresco was finished. See one of the contemporary copies.

In the mid- to late- 1480s, when Leonardo was attempting to establish himself as a court artist, he seemed to have started on his huge range of scientific researches, which included botany, anatomy, medicine, architecture, military engineering, geography etc. We know about his studies by the enormous amount of his drawings which were left. He was writing the Treatise on Painting, a collection of practical and theoretical instructions for painters, all his life.

In 1499, after the defeat of Ludovico Sforza by the French, Leonardo left Milan. After short journeys to Mantua and Venice he returned to Florence. There he was working on a commission for the Servite monastery, which probably was Virgin and Child with St. Anne (c.1502-1516). In 1502 he was employed by General Cesare Borgia as an architect and military engineer, with whom he traveled, mainly in Central Italy, studying terrain and preparing maps for Borgia's future military campaigns. Also at that time Madonna of the Yarnwinder (1501) was created . In 1503, Leonardo returned to Florence again and, in response to a commission from Francesco del Giocondo, started on a portrait of his wife Lisa del Giocondo Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) (1503-1506), which was to become the most famous picture in the world, although the portrait was not finished in time and never delivered to the client. Leonardo received more important commissions, he was to paint the Grand Council Chamber in the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of government of Florence. The wall-painting, which Leonardo left unfinished in the spring of 1506 and which was destroyed in the middle of the XVI century depicted the Battle of Anghiari of 1440, when Florentine forces, together with their papal allies, defeated their Milanese opponents near the town of Anghiari. At the same time Michelangelo was commissioned to create a painting on the other wall of the same hall (the so-called Battle of Cascina), which was never finished either.

In 1506-1512, Leonardo lived mostly in Milan under the patronage of the French Governor of the town Charles d'Amboise. During these years he created The Leda and the Swan (c.1505-1510), which is known now only through a number of copies, second version of The Virgin of the Rocks (1506-1508), worked on the equestrian statue for General Giangiacomo Trivulzio, which was never realized, continued his anatomical studies. After the death of Charles d'Amboise in 1511, Leonardo accepted the protection of Giuliano de'Medici, brother of the future Pope Leo X, with whom he then traveled to the papal court in Rome. Leonardo, by now 61 years old, apparently hoped to become a court painter. But he never received any major commissions comparable to those already carried out by Raphael and Michelangelo from Leo X. At this time, he probably created St. John the Baptist (c.1513-1516), although there is one more John the Baptist (with the attributes of Bacchus, c. 1513-1516), which is also attributed to Leonardo. In 1516, Leonardo received an invitation from French King Francis I to go to the French court, which he accepted. He was given residence in Cloux, not far from the King's residence in Amboise, and was appointed "the first painter, engineer and architect to the King". But his only obligation was to converse with the 22-year old King, who visited him almost daily. Leonardo died on the 2nd of May, 1519 in Cloux and was buried in the Church of St. Florentine in Amboise.

Leonardo's reputation in his life-time was immense, and it was acknowledged visibly not only in the work of the foremost painters of the time in Florence - Fra Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto and, above all, Raphael - but also in Milan and northern Italy - by Correggio in Parma, and by Giorgione in Venice.

Famous canvases of Leonardo da Vinci:

Last supper. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Last supper

Mona Lisa. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Mona Lisa

The Baptism of Christ. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. The Baptism of Christ
da Vinci, Leonardo.

Copy of the 16th century from the Last supper. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Copy of the 16th century from the Last supper

Madonna of the Rocks. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Madonna of the Rocks

St. John the Baptist. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. St. John the Baptist

Adoration of the Magi. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Adoration of the Magi

Uomo Vitruviano. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Uomo Vitruviano
da Vinci, Leonardo. da Vinci, Leonardo. da Vinci, Leonardo. da Vinci, Leonardo.

The Annunciation. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. The Annunciation

Madonna with the Carnation. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Madonna with the Carnation
da Vinci, Leonardo. da Vinci, Leonardo. da Vinci, Leonardo.

Portrait of Ginevra de'Benci. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Portrait of Ginevra de
da Vinci, Leonardo.

Head. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Head

Saint Jerome. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Saint Jerome

Coition. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Coition

Alzado y planta de una iglesia de planta central. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Alzado y planta de una iglesia de planta central

Self Portrait in Old Age. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Self Portrait in Old Age

Study for the omposition of the Last supper. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Study for the omposition of the Last supper

Distance from the Sun to the Earth and the size of the Moon. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Distance from the Sun to the Earth and the size of the Moon

Foetus. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Foetus

Leda. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Leda

Leda. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Leda

Madonna Benois. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Madonna Benois

Drawing of a woman head. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Drawing of a woman head

Burlington House Cartoon (Santa Ana con San Juan nino y la Virgen con el Nino Jesus). da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Burlington House Cartoon (Santa Ana con San Juan nino y la Virgen con el Nino Jesus)

Anghiari. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Anghiari

Artillery. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Artillery

La Virgen del huso. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. La Virgen del huso

Cari man. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Cari man

Cinco estudios de caracteres (cabezas grotescas). da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Cinco estudios de caracteres (cabezas grotescas)

Dibujo De Un Ingenio Para Volar. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Dibujo De Un Ingenio Para Volar

Drawing of a woman torso. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Drawing of a woman torso

Perspective Study For Adoration. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Perspective Study For Adoration

Sforzo. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Sforzo

Flying machine. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Flying machine

Study of a man. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Study of a man

World. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. World

Arm. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Arm

Dibujo del armazin del molde para la cabeza del monumento a Sforza. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Dibujo del armazin del molde para la cabeza del monumento a Sforza

Flying machine. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Flying machine

Head of a young woman. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Head of a young woman

Womb study. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Womb study

Retrato de Ginevra Benci, reverso. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Retrato de Ginevra Benci, reverso

Dibujo del acto sexual y del organo sexual masculino. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Dibujo del acto sexual y del organo sexual masculino

Estudio de ropaje para Santa Ana, la Virgen y el Nino. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudio de ropaje para Santa Ana, la Virgen y el Nino

Estudios caballos, un felino y el combate de San Jorge y el dragon. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudios caballos, un felino y el combate de San Jorge y el dragon

Estudios felinos, un dragon y otros animales. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudios felinos, un dragon y otros animales

Leda. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Leda

Paisaje a vista de p jaro. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Paisaje a vista de p jaro

La Ultima Cena (detalle de Mateo). da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. La Ultima Cena (detalle de Mateo)

Carro de combate con hoces moviles. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Carro de combate con hoces moviles

Dibujo a partir del David de Miguel ngel, ngel (detalle). da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Dibujo a partir del David de Miguel ngel, ngel (detalle)

Head. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Head

Saint Anne. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Saint Anne

Sceleton. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Sceleton

Tuscan. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Tuscan

Battle. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Battle

Hands. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Hands

Widget. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Widget

Estudio de rostro para un guerrero de La Batalla de Anghiari (Niccole Piccinino). da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudio de rostro para un guerrero de La Batalla de Anghiari (Niccole Piccinino)

Muscles of the neck and shoulders. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Muscles of the neck and shoulders

Spectra. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Spectra

Dragons head. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Dragons head

Grotesque. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Grotesque

Hombre de perfil con las proporciones de la cabeza, esbozo de dos jinetes. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Hombre de perfil con las proporciones de la cabeza, esbozo de dos jinetes

Oldmen. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Oldmen

Retrato de perfil de Isabella d Este. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Retrato de perfil de Isabella d Este

Scull. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Scull

Prisoner. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Prisoner

Neck. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Neck

Estudio de un busto de mujer. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudio de un busto de mujer

Water. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Water

Perfil de un guerrero con casco. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Perfil de un guerrero con casco

Sedge. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Sedge

Scull. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Scull

Estudios de piernas y pata de caballo. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Estudios de piernas y pata de caballo

Oldman, water. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Oldman, water

Old couple. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Old couple

Folding boat. da Vinci

da Vinci, Leonardo. Folding boat




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