The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters
Leonardo Da Vinci
Influences -Andrea del Verrocchio
Education: Apprenticed to the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio
Cause of Death: Old Age
His life has three
divisions--thirty years at Florence, nearly twenty years at Milan, then
nineteen years of wandering, till he sinks to rest under the protection
of Francis the First at the Chateau de Clou. The dishonor of
illegitimacy hangs over his birth. Piero Antonio, his father, was of a
noble Florentine house, of Vinci in the Val d'Arno, and Leonardo,
brought up delicately among the true children of that house, was the
love-child of his youth, with the keen, puissant nature such children
often have. We see him in his youth fascinating all men by his
From his earliest years he designed many objects, and constructed models in relief, of which Andrea del Verrocchio, then the most famous artist in Florence. Beautiful objects lay about there--reliquaries, pyxes, silver images for the pope's chapel at Rome, strange fancy-work of the middle age, keeping odd company with fragments of antiquity, then but lately discovered. Another student Leonardo may have seen there--a boy into whose soul the level light and aerial illusions of Italian sunsets had passed, in after days famous as Perugino.Verrocchio was an artist of the earlier Florentine type, carver, painter, and worker in metals, in one; designer, not of pictures only, but of all things for sacred or household use, drinking-vessels, ambries, instruments of music, making them all fair to look upon, filling the common ways of life with the reflection of some far-off brightness; and years of patience had refined his hand till his work was now sought after from distant places.
About The High Renaissance Period
Classical humanism, was a major factor of the Italian Renaissance. This philosophical movement was based on the idea that every persons life had value and dignity. Humanism also stressed man's position in the natural world. The Humanists believed modern man should look to the classical writings and art of the ancient Greeks and Romans as exemplary guides for ethical living and scholarship. Francesco Petrarch,1304-1374, called the Father of Humanism, Italian Intellectual, Poet, and Humaniststated, "No one intellect should ever strive for distinction in more than one pursuit. Those who boast of preeminence in many arts are either divinely endowed or utterly shameless or simply mad. Who ever heard of such presumption in olden times, on the part of either Greeks or men of our own race? It is a new practice, a new kind of effrontery. To-day men write up over their doors inscriptions full of vainglory, containing claims which, if true, would make them, as Pliny puts it, superior even to the law of the land.. ."
During the Renascence the spirit of an era awoke, revitalized with knowledge and creativity. Although art still served a specific functions, which were primarily religious, painters added more of their individual spirit and personal vision to their creations. John Ruskin, famous art historian declared, "The art of any country is the exponent of its social and political virtues . The art, or general productive and formative energy, of any country, is an exact exponent of its ethical life. you can have noble art only from noble persons, associated under laws fitted to their time and circumstance."
The major painters of the Renaissance
were not only artists but men of great genius who gave the world their
great intellectual gifts. Florentine and Venetian painting were both
formed by extraordinary personalities. These independent creative
geniuses tackled mathematical, artistic and philosophical problems of
the highest interest, and presented solutions that have never lost
their value. The sense of humanism pervading renaissance painting is
still palpable. The painters touched on a multitude of issues
regarding the human condition - death, love, reason, religion,
universal morality, social problems.
Key Descriptive Words and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movement - rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning, publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspective, Heliocentric Theory, vanishing point, Savonarola, spiritually significant, illuminated manuscript, idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator, Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology, realistic use of colours and light, Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes, Christian symbolism. Paradise
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