8 Da Vinci Masterpieces

Leonardo Da Vinci was a great Renaissance painter. He gave birth to an unbeatable variety of artwork, out of which 8 Da Vinci masterpieces will be discussed in this article.

1. Mona Lisa

The Louvre Museum receives thousands of visitors daily in the name of Mona Lisa, the most famous artwork in art history. The enigmatic smile and the mysterious gaze of the sitter in the painter completely mesmerize the beholders.

The simplicity of the painting belies the realism of Leonardo. The sfumato is skillfully handled in this portrait. The softly modeled face of the subject gives testimony to this fact. It is an artistic technique of using shadow and light’s subtle gradations instead of the line to model form. The finely wrought locks, the delicate veil’s painting, and the careful fabric folding rendition go to exhibit the great patience of Leonardo in capturing his studied observations.

2. Last Supper

The duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, commissioned the world-famous Last Supper painting. Leonardo depicts a sequential narrative as he illustrates the Gospel’s Mathew 26 wherein Jesus proclaims of the betrayal of one his disciples and then initiates the Eucharist.

Completely intrigues in how a man’s character can unveil itself in expression, gesture, and posture, Leonardo portrayed the unique reaction of each disciple of Jesus’ declaration.

3. Vitruvian Man

Leonardo had kept many notebooks on his hand during his mature years, out of which comes drawing in pen and ink of Vitruvian Man. The painting is accompanied by mirror script written notes in the ideal human proportions.

The painting is a depiction of the theory by Vitruvius that a human could ideally fit into a square and a circle, two of the irreconcilable shapes.  The artist here resolves the concept by his illustration of a male figure in two positions that are superimposed.

The work is evidence of effort and his desire to expand significant texts understood by him.the gallery in Venice, dell’Accademia, now houses this painting.

4. Self Portrait

It has long been addressed as Self Portrait, which is a drawing in red chalk of an old bearded man with long wavy hair. The painting has reproduced to an extent where most people relate it with Leonardo’s appearance.

Some scholars reject the idea based on the figuring appearing much older than Leonardo’s 67 years of age he lived. The figure is surely a departure from Leonardo’s mesmerizing subjects, but he nonetheless imbued the figure with wisdom and nobility of a mature age.

5. The Virgin of the Rocks

Scholars, owing to the stylistic evidence, consider this painting as the first Leonardo made of an apocryphal legend. In the legend, Saint John the Baptist is met by the Holy Family while they flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s massacre of newborns.

In The Virgin of the Rocks, the infant John, the Christ Child, archangel, and the Virgin Mary are given composition is pyramidal. Not only do the figures occupy a space, but they also seem to be interacting through gestures.

6. Head of a Woman

A small brush with pigmented drawing makes up the Head of a Woman. In the painting, the figure belongs to a young woman with downcast eyes and her head tilted. The highly finished face of the model is highly contrasted with the shoulders and the loosely flowing locks. Leonardo has gently modeled the delicate features of the woman from her tender lips too heavy eyelids.

This is the revelation of the fluid working means employed by Leonardo. It utilizes expressive drawing to provide detail through controlled layering and creating form.

7. Lady with an Ermine

Lady with an Ermine contains the figure of Cecilia Gallerani, which art historians identify as Leonardo’s patron’s mistress. The painting does carry the heavy over the painted look, especially the background, but also reveals the anatomy knowledge of Leonardo and his skills of presenting characters in expression and posture.

Leonardo captures the genial nature and youthfulness of the girl in her attentive gaze, guileless features, and her loving embrace of the ermine.

8. Salvator Mundi

The Salvator Mundi sold at a record-breaking price of $450.3 million, making headlines in 2017. This painting was found in poor condition despite its price. Many pundits commented that Jesus’ face showed poor skills, and the stiff posture was much in contrast with the twisting poses of the renaissance master’s expertise.  Even the glass love was found unconvincing, which would have given a distorted view of the holder had it been solid. This was an optical trick which Leonardo would surely have to know about.

The attribution was widely debated long after the sale, but the exorbitant price fetched, and interest shown in his work gave huge testimony that Leonardo’s celebrity status was long past. It also brings the awareness of his unbeatable position in the canon of art history, centuries after the artist’s death.

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