Everyone knows Leonardo da Vinci. As the perfect epitome of a Renaissance man, Da Vinci was a genius, a polymath, and a pioneer in the fields of hydrodynamics and anatomy. He invented the self-powered vehicle, the parachute, the flying machine, the tank, and the helicopter. He is truly a man ahead of his time for most of his visionary inventions only came to existence centuries after he died.
But, art is one of those areas where Da Vinci truly excelled. Here are some of the most popular works of art that are the result of the creative imagination of this genius of a man:
- Mona Lisa (La Gioconda)
Mona Lisa is not just Da Vinci’s most famous painting as it is also safe to say that this is the world’s most popular painting. While there are a lot of alternate theories that popped up through the years, many believed that a middle-class woman from Florence, Lisa Gherardini, was the subject of this highly acclaimed and world-renowned painting.
The enigmatic but faint smile is the most striking feature of Mona Lisa. Others see it as a sad smile while some people consider the expression as somewhat sly, as if the woman is hiding a secret or something. This is why Mona Lisa is regarded as the first ever modern portrait that channeled the sitter’s psychology in one way or another. Centuries have passed but everyone is still curious what she was smiling about.
- The Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)
The mural The Last Supper is located in the church of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan, Italy. This is a depiction of the scene from Gospel of John as Jesus spent his last supper with the disciples. Specifically, it was right at the moment after Jesus told the disciples that one of them is going to betray him. The work of art is a very astute portrayal of the feelings of the disciples after they heard the news that range from dismay to anxiety.
Historically speaking, the painting is considered to be the first painting that depicted characters from the Bible that display human emotion and act like actual human beings. But, in terms of art, the painting is a true masterpiece because of the use of perspective. It seems like almost all elements in The Last Supper guides the viewer’s eyes to Jesus, the figure in the middle of the picture.
- The Vitruvian Man
Vitruvian Man is a depiction of a man that is in two positions laid on top of the other. The legs of the man are together in one position, with outstretched arms showing a square’s volume. The legs of the man stand apart in the second position with extended arms demonstrating a circle’s circumference. The delicate drawing and shading of the elements like the hair give this drawing a 3-dimensional graphic feel. It is the human body’s mathematical study that highlight the nature of balance that symmetry and proportion lend us. It is an understanding informing all the prolific output of Da Vinci in architecture, art and beyond.