Tuesday 28 May 2013

Leonardo da Vinci – part 1

1513c Portrait of a Bearded Man, possibly a Self Portrait 
chalk on paper

Leonardo da Vinci  (1452 – 1519) was born in 1452 near Vinci, Tuscany, Italy. He was apprenticed to the sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence and in 1478 became an independent master. Around 1483 he moved to Milan to work for the ruling Sforza family as painter, sculptor, engineer and architect.
One Da Vinci’s most famous works, The Last Supper mural, was painted in the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan between 1495 and 1497. He was in Milan until the city was invaded by the French in 1499 and the Sforza family was forced to flee. During his time in Florence, he painted several portraits, but the only one that survives is possibly the most famous of his works, the Mona Lisa, painted between 1503-1505.
Da Vinci returned to Milan in 1506 and remained there until 1513. This was followed by three years based in Rome. In 1517, at the invitation of the French king Francis I, he moved to the Château of Cloux, near Amboise in France, where he died on 2 May 1519.

This is part 1 of a 3-part post on the works of Leonardo da Vinci:

1470-73 Sleeve study for the Annunciation 
pen and ink on paper 8.5 x 9.5 cm

1472c Annunciation 
oil on panel 217 x 98 cm
The Annunciation: Generally accepted
Generally thought to be the earliest extant work by Leonardo. The work was traditionally attributed to Verrocchio until 1869. It is now almost universally attributed to Leonardo. Attribution proposed by Liphart, accepted by Bode, Lubke, Muller-Walde, Berenson, Clark, Goldscheider and others.

1470-76 Head of a Woman 
pen and ink, white heightening on paper 28.2 x 19.9 cm

1472c Profile of a Warrior in Helmet 
metalpoint on paper 28.5 x 20.7 cm

A silverpoint drawing is made by dragging a silver rod or wire across a surface, often prepared with gesso or primer. Silverpoint is one of several types of metalpoint used by scribes, craftsmen and artists since ancient times. Metalpoint styli were used for writing on soft surfaces (wax or bark), ruling and underdrawing on parchment, and drawing on prepared paper and panel supports. For drawing purposes, the essential metals used were lead, tin and silver. The softness of these metals made them effective drawing instruments.

1473 Landscape drawing for Santa Maria della Neve 
ink on paper 19 x 28.5 cm

1473c The Madonna of the Carnation 
oil on panel 62 x 47.5 cm

Madonna of the Carnation: Generally accepted
It is generally accepted as a Leonardo, but has some over-painting, possibly by a Flemish artist.

1474-78 Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci 
oil on wood 38.8 x 36.7 cm

1474-78 Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci 
oil on wood 38.8 x 36.7 cm
Ginerva de' Benci: Generally accepted
The work was proposed as a Leonardo by Waagen in 1866, and supported by Bode. Early 20th-century scholars were vociferous in their disagreement, but most current critics accept both the authorship and the identity of the sitter.

1475c The Baptism of Christ 
oil and tempera on panel 151 x 177 cm
The Baptism of Christ: Verrocchio and Leonardo
Painted by Andrea del Verrocchio, with the angel on the left-hand side by Leonardo. It is generally considered that Leonardo also painted much of the background landscape and the torso of Christ. One of Leonardo's earliest extant works. Vasari's statement that the angel on the left is by Leonardo is confirmed by studies by Bode, Seidlitz and Guthman, and accepted by McCurdy, Wasserman and others.

1478 Study Sheet 
ink on paper 26.6 x 20.2 cm

1478 Study for the Madonna with the Fruit Bowl 
pen and ink over silverpoint on paper 35.8 x 25.2 cm

1478-80 Automobile 
metalpoint, pen and brush on paper 27 x 20 cm

1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat 
pen and ink over stylus on paper 13.2 x 9.5 cm

1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat 
pen and ink on paper 23.2 x 17.5 cm

1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat 
pen and ink over chalk on paper 27.4 x 19 cm

1478-80 Study for the Madonna and Child with a Cat 
pen and ink on paper 28.1 x 19.9 cm

1478-80 Study for the Virgin and Child 
pen and ink on paper

1478-81 Study for the Adoration of the Magi 
pen and ink over silverpoint on paper 28.5 x 21.5 cm

1478-82 Annunciation 
oil on panel 16 x 60 cm

1478c Madonna with a Flower ( Madonna Benois ) 
oil on canvas transferred from wood 50 x 32 cm

Madonna Benois: Generally accepted
Most critics believe it coincides with a Madonna mentioned by Leonardo in 1478.

1478c Study of a Child with a Cat 
pen and ink on paper 20.6 x 14.3 cm

1480-82 Studies for Saint Mary Magdalene 
pen and ink on paper 13.8 x 8 cm 
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

1480-85 Designs for a Nativity or Adoration of the Christ Child 
silverpoint, pen and ink 19.3 x 16.2 cm

1480c Lady with a Unicorn 
pen and ink 95 x 75 cm

1480c Lily 
chalk and ink on paper 31.4 x 17.7 cm

1480c St. Jerome in the Wilderness 
oil on panel 103 x 75 cm

1480c Study of Nursing Madonna and Profile Heads

1480c Study of a Dog and a Cat 
metalpoint on paper

1480c Study of a Man Blowing a Trumpet in Another's Ear - Two Figures in Conversation 
pen and ink on paper

1480c Virgin and Child with a Cat 
pen and wash on paper 12.8 x 10.9 cm 
© Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino

1481 Adoration of the Magi 
oil on panel 246 x 243 cm

1481c Linear Perspective Study for The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi: Universally accepted

1481c Study of a Horse and Rider 
metalpoint on paper 12 x 7.8 cm

1482-83 Cartoon for the Head of the Infant Saint John the Baptist 
metalpoint, traces of pen, ink and wash heightened with white on paper 16.9 x 14 cm 
Musée du Louvre, Paris © RMN

1482c Battle between a Rider and a Dragon 
pen and brush over stylus on paper 13.9 x 19 cm

1483-86 Virgin of the Rocks 
oil on panel 199 x 122 cm 
Musée du Louvre, Paris
© RMN - Franck Raux

1483c Head of a Girl 
metalpoint 18.1 x 15.9 cm

1483c Scythed Chariot 
ink on paper

1485 Drawing of a Flying Machine 
pen and ink on paper 23 x 16 cm

1485-88 Study with Shields for Foot Soldiers and an Exploding Bomb 
pen and ink on paper

1485c Drawing of a Flying Machine

1485c Studies of a Dog's Paw 
metalpoint on paper 14.1 x 10.7 cm 
© The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

1485c Study of a Bear's Head 
metalpoint on paper 7 x 7 cm

1486-87 Portrait of a Young Man ( The Musician ) 
oil on panel 44.7 x 32 cm 
© Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Portrait of Young Man: Generally accepted

1487 Cannon Foundry 
ink on paper

1487-89 Fruit, Vegetables and other Studies 
pen and ink on paper 23.5 x 17.6 cm

1487-90 Study of the Effect of Light on a Profile Head 
chalk, pen and ink on paper 20.3 x 14.3 cm

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