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Leonardo da Vinci - Italian Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519)

The embodiment of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci developed his talents as a scientist and inventor, as well as a painter. After studying under Verrocchio, da Vinci worked for the Sforza’s in Milan, creating one of his more famous paintings, The Last Supper. After returning to Florence in 1500, Leonardo continued to paint, honing his exquisite technique of sfumato, the blending of tonalities to eliminate borders, as seen in the Mona Lisa. Leonardo then moved to France where he continued to explore art as well as aeronautics, engineering, mathematics, nature, and biology. Despite the recent awareness and admiration of Leonardo as a scientist and inventor, for the better part of four hundred years his enormous fame rested on his achievements as a painter and on a handful of works, either authenticated or attributed to him that have been regarded as among the supreme masterpieces ever created. These paintings are famous for a variety of qualities which have been much imitated by students and discussed at great length by connoisseurs and critics. Among the qualities that make Leonardo's work unique are the innovative techniques that he used in laying on the paint, his detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, botany and geology, his interest in physiognomy and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, his innovative use of the human form in figurative composition and his use of the subtle gradation of tone. All these qualities come together in his most famous painted works, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the Virgin of the Rocks.

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