Considered one of the greatest ever to have lived and one of the most versatile geniuses of all time, Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist.
Born on 15th April 1452 in present-day Italy, da Vinci had a wide range of interests spanning over domains such as literature, anatomy, botany, science, mathematics, cartography, music, astronomy, drawing, and painting.
2nd May 2019 marks 500 years of the death of this genius. He passed away at the age of 67, leaving behind a rich legacy for the generations to come. This event is being commemorated in both France and Italy, where exhibitions of his work are displayed.
And on this day, let’s take a look at some of his most famous paintings of all time.
- Mona Lisa
Undeniably, the Mona Lisa is one of the best-known paintings in the world, drawing millions of visitors to the Louvre Museum in Paris each year. It is also the most valuable, most visited, and the most recognized painting in the world.
The Mona Lisa is believed to be painted between 1503 and 1519.
The enigmatic expression and mysterious gaze of the subject of the painting make it so alluring. While at first glance the subject seems like she is smiling, the smile fades away after a while, making her look aloof. At some times, it also looks like the smile is also mocking the viewers.
Maybe all this contribute to the fame of Mona Lisa – she is a complex character and personifies all us, humans.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Mona Lisa has also been attacked in the past? In 1956, the painting suffered an acid attack. A few months later, a rock was thrown at it. This is why it is enclosed in a bullet-proof case today.
2. The Last Supper
The Last Supper, believed to have been painted between 1495 and 1498, was commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. It is housed in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
The painting depicts the scene of the Last Supper that Jesus Christ has with his apostles, where he announced that one of them would betray him. What makes the painting noteworthy is the expression of each of the Apostles on hearing this announcement, which ranges from grief and shock to yelling and whispering.
Despite numerous attempts at restoring the painting, unfortunately, not much of the original painting remains today.
3. The Vitruvian Man
Housed currently in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy, the Vitruvian Man is an ink on paper drawing by da Vinci. It shows a male figure in two superimposed positions – one with his arms and legs stretched within a circle and the other with his arms stretched in a square. It is based on the ideal human body proportions as proposed by the ancient Roman architect, Vitruvius.
The painting is accompanied by notes by da Vinci correlating to the work of the Vitruvius.
The sketch is a testimony to the fact that da Vinci understood the proportions of the human body beautifully.
What other paintings of this genius do you think should have made it to this list? Do let us know!
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