Top Ten Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci

Top Ten Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci

        Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination.” He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote.” Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivaled only by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo. Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualized a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and he outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.

  1. The Mona Lisa ‘La Gioconda’ (1506)

    Originally the painting was larger than today, because two columns (on on each side) have been cut out. That is the reason why it’s not so easy to see that Mona Lisa was sitting on a terrace. Leonardo da Vinci had received an order to paint this, but he never delivered it. Leonardo kept it with him for the rest of his life, because he loved it so much.
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  2. The Last Supper (1497)

    Da Vinci’s Last Supper has become one of the most widely appreciated masterpieces in the world. It began to acquire its unique reputation immediately after it was finished in 1498 and its prestige has never diminished. Despite the many changes in tastes, artistic styles, and rapid physical deterioration of the painting itself, the painting’s status as an extraordinary creation has never been questioned nor doubted. The perfection of this work lies not only in the artistic merits of the painting, but also in Leonardo’s expressive mastery. Leonardo’s Last Supper is an ideal pictorial representation of the most important event in the Christian doctrine of salvation – the institution of the Eucharist. His representation of this part of the Christian story has achieved a unanimous acceptance and authority. No other painting of a Christian subject dominates our imagination with the same power of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. There are countless copies and reproductions of this particular painting in homes, places of worship, and museums throughout the world. However, when thoughts turn to the Last Supper, we seem to see only Leonardo’s representation before us. The painting has also been subject to much attention due to the number of restorations it has had to face since its completion in the fifteenth century. The most recent restoration lasted twenty years and has been the subject of much controversy. The painting that remains so influential has been frequently referred to as “repainted”, not “restored”. However, restoration has been an ongoing reality with this masterpiece due to unprecedented manner in which Leonardo painted it. Although restoration may have altered Leonardo’s painting to a degree, it has prolonged the life of this painting for future generations to appreciate and view.
    Links: Top Ten Paintings of the Last Supper,
  3. Lady with an Ermine (1490)

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  4. St. John the Baptist (1516)

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  5. The Annunciation (1475)

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  6. Madonna Litta

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  7. Madonna with the Carnation (1475)

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  8. The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (1510)

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  9. An Angel in Red with a Lute (1499)

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  10. Portrait of a Young Lady

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  11. The Virgin of the Rocks (1486)

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  12. Links: People, Top 100 People, Paintings, Top Ten High Renaissance Painters, Top Ten High Renaissance Paintings, Top Ten Renaissance Painters, Top Ten Renaissance Paintingshttp://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Leonardo_da_Vinci/,

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