Leonardo da Vinci - The Red Badge of Courage

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Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a Florentine artist and considered

one of the great masters of the High Renaissance. He was a painter, sculptor,

architect, engineer, and scientist. His innovations in the field of painting

influenced the course of Italian art for more than a century after his death. Not only

was his painting influenctual but also his scientific studies in the fields of anatomy,

optics, and hydraulics.


Leonardo produced a relatively small number of paintings most of which

remained unfinished. In his early years, his style was compared to that of

Verrocchio. Leonardo's innovations were apparent in the The Last Supper, in

which he re-created a traditional theme in an entirely new way. Instead of showing

the 12 apostles as individual figures, he grouped them in dynamic compositional

units of three, and framing the figure of Christ. Christ announces that one of those

12 apostles will betray him.

Florentine painting.

The Mona Lisa, Leonardo's most famous work, is as well known for its

mastery of technical innovations as for the mysteriousness of its legendary smiling

subject. Sfumato is characterized a delicately atmospheric haze or smoky effect.

Leonardo uses Sfumato in the robe and smile of the Mona Lisa.

Sculptural and Architectural Drawings

None of Leonardo's sculptural projects were brought to completion so his

three-dimensional art can only be judged from his drawings. The same applys to

his architecture, none of his building projects were carried out. In his architectural

drawings he shows a mastery in the use of massive forms, a clarity of expression,

and especially a understanding of ancient Roman sources.

Scientific and Theoretical Projects

Leonardo's Scientific Theories were based on careful observation and

precise documentation. Unfortunately he never completed scientific projects. His

theories were contained in many notebooks, most of which were written...