Author Topic: More Leonardo's discovered  (Read 1180 times)

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Offline Libertas

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More Leonardo's discovered
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:36:31 AM »

How timely, just completed my book on him that goes into painstaking detail over how Leonardo approached all of his paintings (which he didn't so many of compared to other contemporaries)...the wood backing, the meticulous mixing to get his oils just right...his "sfumato" (Leonardo's smoke) technique, he liked softness, mositness, blurred lines and rendering pictures as close to three-dimensional as he could using his understanding of optics and mathematics and incorporating his knowledge of anatomy...the details to which he went were beyond meticulous...he would paint the vibrant textures of clothes and such underneath an upper layer, just to get the shape of the top perfect...the eyes of his portraits always have that appearance of following your gaze no matter your orientation to the painting, the intricate curls of hair.  Art experts can easily tell his works from those of his students by the left-handed brush strokes, the finger smudgings that often leave a telltale print, the numerous layers of paint and's why restoration experts have not been allowed to do much with the Mona Lisa (Lisa del Giocondo), it was one of three paintings Leonardo toted along with him in his latter years...always tinkering with them and perfecting one element at a time up until he expired in France...the Mona Lisa has that cracked look because of the numerous layers, and past debacles with past paintings by him in the same condition included one infamous effort that rendered a work completely destroyed. 

I'll wager his two most famous works looked spectacular in their day!

Contemporaries like Michaelangelo would tease Leonardo about his lack of production in painting, but what he did complete were amazing works, something Michaelangelo should have come to appreciate given Leonardo's range of interests and achievements when he himself described himself as a sculptor who paints, and he became as well known for his frescoes of the Sistine Chapel as he was for his David.

But Leonardo could dish it out to Michaelangelo too.  In fact the painting below that Michaelangelo did was singled out by Leonardo as being "flat", lacking the life-like three-dimensional nature Leonardo was able to achieve, and criticizing Michaelangelo's use of sharp lines and bold color, the lack of authenticity of his anatomical forms.

It is a pretty picture full of color, but one wonders what it could have been transformed into had Michaelangelo incorporated Leonardo's gift of optics, anatomy and sfumato.
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