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Mona Lisa (1503-1507) - portrait painted in oil on a poplar panel in Florence.
La Gioconda c.1503 1506 Oil on cottonwood 76.8† †53.0†cm, 30.2† †20.9†in.
Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa over a period of four years during the Italian Renaissance. By the time portrait was finished it greatly affected Florentine painters, including the Raphael. It created a new form of portrait.
Leonardo Da Vinci's used several new techniques. Sfumato effect created by Leonardo (sfumato - an atmospheric haze or smoky effect), transcended convention of the time, as did the sitter's angle, and the birds eye view of the background. Another effect, "Chiaroscuro", used a series of glazes custom-made by Leonardo. It is characterized by subtle transitions between color areas. Chiaroscuro is a technique of bold contrast between light and dark.
Leonardo never deliver the Mona Lisa to his client, Francesco del Giocondo, because in 1503 he received government project fo paint the Grand Council Chamber in Palazzo Veccihio. Leonardo loved this portrait and carried it with him wherever he went, until it fell into the hands of France's King Francois I.
Leonardo did not sign or date the portrait or publicly reveal the identity of the sitter posed for him on more then a few occasions.
Who is Mona Lisa?
The Mona Lisa, a portrait of the woman thought to be a Lisa Gherardini (also known as La Gioconda or La Joconde).
The work is owned by the Government of France and is on the wall in the Louvre in Paris, France with the title Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
Mona Lisa the only painting in the Louver to have her own
According to Louvre Curator Jean-Pierre Cuzin, "The entire history of portraiture afterwards depends on the Mona Lisa. If you look at all the other portraits not only of the Italian Renaissance, but also of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries if you look at Picasso, at everyone you want to name, all of them were inspired by this painting. Thus it is sort of the root, almost, of occidental portrait painting."
It is perhaps the most famous and iconic painting in the world.
Realted readings from PBS: Theft of the Mona Lisa - It was the art theft of the century... On August 21st, 1911, someone stole the most famous painting in the world from the Louvre. ...the myth of Mona Lisa - The young Raphael was so fascinated by Leonardo's composition that he created a series of Florentine portraits, several of which display a striking resemblance to the Mona Lisa.
The Last Supper - covers the back wall of the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy
Measures 450 870 centimeters (15 feet 29 ft).
The theme was a traditional one for refectories, but Leonardo's interpretation gave it much greater realism and depth. The lunettes above the main painting, formed by the triple arched ceiling of the refectory, are painted with Sforza coats-of-arms. The opposite wall of the refectory is covered by the Crucifixion fresco by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano, to which Leonardo added figures of the Sforza family in tempera. (These figures have deteriorated in much the same way as has The Last Supper.) Leonardo began work on The Last Supper in 1495 and completed it in 1498 he did not work on the painting continuously. This beginning date is not certain, as "the archives of the convent have been destroyed and our meagre documents date from 1497 when the painting was nearly finished."
The Last Supper specifically portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray him. All twelve apostles have different reactions to the news, with various degrees of anger and shock.
The Last Supper fresco in Milan (1498).
Milan (1482-1499) Leonardo spent 17 years in Milan in the service of Duke Ludovico (between 1482 and 1499).
Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper (1495-97) is one of the most famous paintings in the world. The original mural can still be seen in its original location: the refectory wall of the former Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
From left to right: Bartholomew, James, son of Alphaeus and Andrew form a group of three, all are surprised.
Judas Iscariot, Peter and John form another group of three. Judas is wearing green and blue and is in shadow, looking rather withdrawn and taken aback by the sudden revelation of his plan. He is clutching a small bag, perhaps signifying the silver given to him as payment to betray Jesus, or perhaps a reference to his role within the 12 disciples as treasurer. He is the only person to have his elbow on the table. Peter looks angry and is holding a knife pointed away from Christ, perhaps foreshadowing his violent reaction in Gethsemane during Jesus' arrest. The youngest apostle, John, appears to swoon. Jesus
Apostle Thomas, James the Greater and Philip are the next group of three.
Thomas is clearly upset; James the Greater looks stunned, with his arms in the air. Philip appears to be requesting some explanation.
Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot are the final group of three. Jude Thaddeus and Matthew are turned toward Simon, perhaps to find out if he has any answer to their initial questions.
These names are all agreed upon by art historians. In the 19th century, a manuscript (The Notebooks Leonardo Da Vinci pg. 232) was found with their names; before this only Judas, Peter, John and Jesus were positively identified.
The painting contains several references to the number 3, which represents the Christian belief in the Holy Trinity. The Apostles are seated in groupings of three; there are three windows behind Jesus; and the shape of Jesus' figure resembles a triangle. There may have been other references that have since been lost to the painting's deterioration.
1472 1475 Oil on wood 177 151 cm Location:Uffizi, Florence
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.
Almost universally accepted Generally
thought to be the earliest extant work entirely by Leonardo. The work
was traditionally attributed to Verrocchio until 1869. It is now almost
universally attributed to Leonardo. Attribution proposed by Liphhart,
accepted by Bode, Lubke, Muller-Walde, Berenson, Clark, Goldscheider
Ginevra de' Benci c. 1476
Oil on wood 38.8 36.7 cm, 15.3 14.4 in Location: National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.
Ginevra de' Benci (1457-c. 1520) was a lady of the aristocratic class in 15th century Florence, admired for her intelligence by Florentine contemporaries. She is the subject of one of only about 17 existing paintings attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.The oil-on-wood portrait was permanently acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., USA in 1967, for US$5 million paid to the Princely House of Liechtenstein, a record price at the time.
Oil on canvas 49.5 33 cm Location: Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Madonna and Child with Flowers, otherwise known as the Benois Madonna, could be one of two Madonnas started by Leonardo da Vinci, as he remarked himself, in October 1478. The other one could be Madonna with the Carnation from Munich.
It is likely that the Benois Madonna was the first work painted by Leonardo independently from his master Verrocchio.
The painting depicts Saint Jerome during his retreat to the Syrian desert, where he lived the life of a hermit. St Jerome kneels in a rocky landscape, gazing toward a crucifix which can be discerned faintly sketched in at the extreme right of the painting. In Jerome's right hand he holds a rock with which he is traditionally shown beating his chest in penance. At his feet is the lion which became a loyal companion after he extracted a thorn from its paw. The lion, the stone and a cardinal's hat are the traditional attributes of the saint.
of the Magi 1481 Underpainting on panel 240 250 cm,
96 97 in
Unfinished Location: Uffizi Florence
The Adoration of the Magi is an early painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo was given the commission by the Augustinian monks of San
Donato a Scopeto in Florence, but departed for Milan the following
year, leaving the painting unfinished.
Virgin of the
Rocks 1483 1486 Oil on panel (transferred to canvas)
199 122 cm, 78.3 48.0 in Location: Louvre, Paris
The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the usual title used for both of two different paintings with almost identical compositions, which are at least largely by Leonardo da Vinci. Considered
by most historians to be the earlier of two versions
Generally accepted This painting
has been subject to continued disagreement since it was first published
as a Leonardo in 1889. The attribution of the
"Ginevra de' Benci" has supported the attribution of this
painting. The subject has been identified as Cecilia Gallerani.
Madonna Litta c. 1490
Oil on canvas (transferred from panel) 42 33 cm
Location: Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Disputed Thought perhaps to be by
The Madonna Litta is one of the great paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. There are numerous replicas of the work by other Renaissance painters, and Leonardo's own preliminary sketch of Madonna's head in the Louvre. The Child's awkward posture, however, led some scholars to attribute parts of the painting to Leonardo's pupil Boltraffio. Other clues that contribute to the fact that Leonardo had this painting completed by one of his pupils include the harsh outlines of the Madonna and Child, as well as the plain landscape.
Portrait of a Musician is an oil on wood painting often attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci by some scholars. It was probably painted in 1490.
Virgin of the
Rocks 1495 1508 Oil on panel 189.5 120 cm, 74.6
Location: National Gallery, London
Leonardo and Ambrogio de Predis Generally
accepted as postdating the version in the Louvre, with collaboration
of de Predis and perhaps others. While the date is not universally
agreed, the collaboration of Leonardo's workshop is.
The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, sometimes called The Burlington House Cartoon, is a full-size cartoon by Leonardo da Vinci. It is a combination of two themes popular in Florentine painting of the 15th century: the Virgin (Mary) and Child with St John the Baptist (son of Mary's relative Elizabeth) and the Virgin and Child with St Anne (Mary's mother).
Disputed Three versions exist, apparently
by different hands, perhaps copies of a lost work that is described
by Leonardo. The best known, that belonging to the estate of the Duke
of Buccleuch, was stolen in 2003, and recovered in 2007.
The Virgin and Child with St Anne is an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci depicting St. Anne, her daughter the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus. Christ is shown grappling with a sacrificial lamb symbolising his Passion whilst the Virgin tries to restrain him.
Oil on walnut panel transferred to canvas 177 115 cm Location: Louvre Paris