Leonardo in Florence

Leonardo da Vinci started his career with his master Andrea del Verrocchio. His father Piero sent him to work with the artist when he realized his son’s great potential at an early age. Andrea del Verrocchio was already a well-established artist in Tuscany. Verrocchio taught Leonardo painting and sculpting techniques. Verrocchio used Leonardo as an aid and even a featuring artist on his works. Andrea del Verrocchio shaped and very much helped create one of the greatest minds this world has ever seen. Leonardo and Verrocchio have very similar styles and it is clearly evident in Leonardo’s works that the two worked closely together early in his career. Leonardo’s early work in Florence mostly consisted of helping Verrocchio with his works. After several years with Verrocchio, Leonardo established his own studio in Florence. He became a member of the garden of San Marcos, which was under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici. In his last work in Florence a church paid him for a work of art. This piece was The Adoration of the Magi paid for by the San Donato Scopeto church. After this painting, Leonardo left for Milan. There are two main reasons for this. The first is he left to work under the patronage of the new Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. This is true. The second reason is thought to be that he was charged with sodomy and forced to leave the city of Florence. Leonardo left Florence a good artist and came to Milan where he became a legend.

The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1473)

the Annunciation, Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1475), oil on panel

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Annunciation depicts the annunciation to the Virgin Mary that she will receive Jesus Christ. The painting currently resides in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The marble table is thought to represent the tomb of Piero and Giovanni de’ Medici. The angel on the left of the painting is holding in her hand a Madonna lily. This lily is a symbol of the city of Florence and Mary’s virginity. The painting is credited to Leonardo da Vinci and his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio. It is believed Leonardo painted the angel and the background of the painting. This is an early work in Leonardo’s career. Critics recognize a painter still learning the trade, but having a lot of potential. The general amount of complaints are regarding the awkward composition and perspective. In the painting, Verrocchio used a lead-based paint and heavy brush stokes, while Leonardo used a different type of paint with light brush strokes. This makes it easy for critics to recognize the difference between Verrocchio’s part of the piece and Leonardo’s part of the piece even though the two have a similar style. The flowers in the foreground and the beautiful representation of nature make this a signature Leonardo work. In this work, Leonardo catches the moment after rain when trees are black against a grey evening sky. The painting is world renowned for its originality and historical value of an early work of a great artist. The Annunciation was just the beginning of a phenomenal career.

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio & Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1475)

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio & Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1475)

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio & Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1475)

a particular of the painting attributed to Leonardo

The painting depicts the baptism of Jesus by Saint John the Baptist. The angel on the left is attributed to Leonardo. In Leonardo’s early career he would feature on Andrea del Verrocchio’s pieces. He first helped his master with The Annunciation and then with this painting. Andrea del Verrocchio is usually overlooked as Leonardo’s fame out ways almost all artists. Andrea del Verrocchio is the main artist on this particular piece. His fame is mostly attributed to teaching and help molding the great mind of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Madonna of the Carnation by Leonardo da Vinci (1473-1474)

The Madonna of the Carnation by Leonardo da Vinci (1473-1474)

The Madonna of the Carnation by Leonardo da Vinci (1473-1474)

This painting by Leonardo features the baby Jesus on the lap of the Virgin Mary. Mary, in this painting, is holding a carnation that symbolizes healing. The room is covered by shadow, while Mary and Jesus are put into the light. Mary is elegantly dressed and is looking down at the ground, while Jesus is looking up at the ceiling. This painting is currently on display at the Alte Pinakothek gallery in Munich, Germany. This fact shows the universal appreciation of the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci (1481-1482)

The Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci (1481-1482)

The Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci (1481-1482)

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Adoration of the Magi features the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. In the painting, the two are surrounded by admirers of all ages. Leonardo was commissioned to work on the painting in the monastery of San Donato a Scopeto in Florence. The painting still to this day remains unfinished. This is because Leonardo left for the city of Milan during the creation of this work. Leonardo left for Milan to provide his services to Duke Ludovico il Moro. The work is a large piece of art measuring in at about nine feet by eight feet. This work re-emphasizes Leonardo’s love for nature, featuring strong emotion from the animals in the scene and a large tree close to the center of the piece. The tree represents the tree of life. This painting also features stairs from a ruined palace and a statue of a young boy.  These two elements of the work have many interpretations, but most notably some critics think the statue of a young boy is based on a statue of a young Leonardo sculpted by his master Andrea del Verrocchio. The ruins in the background are supposed to be construction on the Roman building of the Basilica of Maxentiu. It was said that the Romans believed that the Basilica of Maxentiu would fall upon the birth of a child from a virgin mother. Leonardo’s studies of the elderly face come into affect in this painting with many of the people featuring an older wrinkled face. These faces look directly influenced from Leonardo’s Study of an Old Man.  This painting features the technique chiaroscuro. The contrast of light to dark is increased the closer a person is to the foreground of the piece. Leonardo never completed this painting, but it is still considered one of his best works.

Sources:

http://legacy.mos.org/leonardo/bio.html

http://www.wga.hu/index1.html

http://www.leonardo3.net/leonardo/paintings_eng.htm

Advertisements