One of the most famous painters of the world, Leonardo da Vinci is a name young painters of today worship and take inspiration from. The master of art, da Vinci created masterpieces that were innovative and also perfect in every sense. In order to bring precision to his work, he investigated human anatomy and also experimented with different methods to represent three dimensional objects placed on a two dimensional surface. As a result of his curiosity, there are still many unfinished projects that were started by the artist, along with a few life-like real representations of the human nature. Leonardo left behind many notebooks filled with sketches and jottings that gave us an insight of his next paintings. However, after his death in 1519, some of his artworks were finished by his assistants and some were lost. Here is a collection of 5 most famous paintings made by the renaissance artist.
MONA LISA (C. 1503 – 19)
One of the world’s most renowned artworks ever, Mona Lisa alone draws over thousands of visitors each day at the Louvre Museum, Paris. The mysterious gaze and perplexing smile of the young woman in the picture is what compels most visitors to spend some time on the painting. The simplicity of the painting and the subject’s soft face shows the skilful work of Leonardo da Vinci.
The painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world and has a value of $830 million, as of 2018.
LAST SUPPER (C. 1495 – 98)
The Last Supper is one of the most beautifully painted artworks of Leonardo da Vinci. The painting depicts the moments described in the Gospel, 26:21-28 wherein Jesus is believed to have had declared about one of the Apostles who will betray him and also institutes the Holy Communion. The painting depicts the scene and shows the postures of the Apostles’ as they whisper and debate about the declaration, while Jesus sits serenely at the center. However, the painting soon started disintegrating due to Leonardo’s experimental painting techniques. Copies almost similar to the original painting were later made by his assistants that successfully restored the facial expressions of the Apostles’ as in the original painting.
VITRUVIAN MAN (C. 1490)
Drawn in one of his notebooks, the Vitruvian man is a pen and ink drawing made by the famous painter that is accompanied by his scribbled notes in mirror script that describe the ideal human proportions which were proposed by famous Roman architect Vitruvius, sometime in the 1st century. The drawing made by da Vinci illustrates that the human body can easily fit in a circle and a square. In order to resolve this concept, he drew two super imposed human bodies, with outstretched hands AND legs.
SELF PORTRAIT (C. 1490/ 1515-16)
A self-portrait made using red chalk, this image of an old man with long wavy hair and beard has been believed to be that of Leonardo himself. However, due to its furrowed brows and wrinkled features, experts believe this portrait to be that of an older man and not of Leonardo. They believe the portrait was one abrupt image made in one of his notebooks of people who captivated the painter’s mind.
THE VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS (C. 1483-86)
The Virgin of the Rocks is one of the first paintings painted by the famous artist based on the apocryphal legend wherein the Holy Family is shown meeting Saint John while fleeing to Egypt from the Herod’s Massacre. The painting shows the Virgin Mary sitting on a stone ushering little Saint John to seek blessings from little Jesus on the right.