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"catalogue essay on leonardo da vinci"
catalogue essay on leonardo da vinci
William Katz

We can always tell a Leonardo work by his treatment of hair, angelic in its fineness and by the lack of rigidity of the contour. The angel's face in the painting known as 'The Virgin of the Rocks', has an interior and artistic wisdom that is like no other artwork. This painting is by world-renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci. It was painted in-between 1503 and 1506 in the period known as the High Renaissance. The Virgin of the Rocks, also known as 'The Madonna of the Rocks', is in the style of Leonardo's earliest Florentine period, with its soft and glowing colours.

This work has represented the human form in that it has a womanly or motherly air about it. You can see that the gaze of the virgin in the middle is on the two babies.

Leonardo da Vinci's major influence was his first teacher, Andrea Del Verrocchio. He worked as an apprentice at Verrocchio's studio. One day, they were working on a panel-picture of St. John baptizing Christ. Leonardo painted an angel so well compared to that of Verrocchio's that it is said that Verrocchio decided to give up painting then and there because a child could paint better than him.

Painting for Leonardo could only succeed when clear principles were followed. The most important of these was the power of mathematics. He compared painting to philosophy; both were concerned with looking beyond appearances to the underlying structure and movement.

"The first object of the painter is to make a flat plane appear as a body in relief and projecting from that plane"

(Leonardo da Vinci)

He has used three different techniques in three of his famous works, the most famous being the 'Mona Lisa'. Here he used the sfumato technique. He shaded the contours and backgrounds in opposition to areas of intense...

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