The Evolving Hands of Da Vinci - Richard Service

Leonardo di ser Piero Da Vinci was born in 1452. He is considered one of the worlds greatest painters and thinkers. Here is an amazing collaboration of his drawings and paintings evolving from his young teens up to the age of 66 just before his death in 1519.

-Da Vinci 18 Years Old Exploring his advanced skills beyond the tutelage of his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo De Vinci executed a skilled painting of an angel, using oil which was a new medium at the time, to join the scene of Christ and two other angels, painted in egg tempera, a more common medium. X-ray scans of this painting show that Verrocchio intended for Da Vinci to complete an entirely different angel then what is depicted. Verrocchio was so impressed by Da Vinci's talented deviations that this would be the last painting Verrocchio would ever do. This painting gives many example of the characteristics Da Vinci would continue to use throughout the rest of his artistic life including the flowing hair, bright shining eyes, and innocent appearance on the angels face.
-Da Vinci 20 Years Old Being considered one of Leonardo Da Vinci's first major works, The Annunciation is still a collaborative work of several artists under the instruction of Andrea del Verrocchio. The majority of the painting is credited to Da Vinci including the landscape, and the other elements of the atmosphere. This painting depicts the Virgin Mary being visited by the Angel Gabriel informing Mary that she will bare the Son of God.
-Da Vinci 22 Years Old It is facinating how debatable it is as to who commissioned this painting of Ginevra de Benci. Was it her husband Luigi Niccolini or one of her many admirers including some who engaged in writing poetry for her. Perhaps it was the Venetian ambassador Bernardo Bembo whom was additionally infatuated with her. What remains concrete is that Leonardo Da Vinci was commissioned to paint this portrait of Ginevra de Benci. It was said by all, being one of the first of its kind to stray from the earlier Renaissance styles of painting women, that this likeness was almost more lifelike then painting. Da Vinci has demonstrated his own, more advanced style of painting to demonstrate a more realistic, and lifelike feel.
-Da Vinci 22 Years Old During the same period Leonardo Da Vinci was commissioned to paint Ginevra de' Benci, he was also commissioned to paint The Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper on the back side of Ginevra de' Benci, by the Venetian ambassador, Berardo Bembo. This leads most, though it is uncertain, to assume that the ambassador indeed commissioned the painting of Ginevra de' Benci as well. The Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper reflects the personal traits of Ginevra as the displayed motto sweeping across the scroll translates to "Beauty Adorns Virtue," which was her personal motto. Additionally the depicted laurel and palm signify her intellectual and moral virtue which coincidentally also reflect the ambassadors personal emblem to Florence.
-Da Vinci 33 Years Old Towards the end of the 15th century, in 1480, Leonardo Da Vinci made many preparations to create the largest equestrian statue ever made, to honor the Duke of Milan, Francisco Sforza. He labored diligently to design and build bronze forms preparing to build this magnificent statue. Depicted here is one of the final designed Da Vinci made just before creating everything but the statue itself. Just prior to completing this venture in 1499, Sforza fell from power and the statue forms were destroyed by the invading French troops, never allowing the horse to make its way into existence. At least in Bronze form... A replica of this statue was constructed of fiber-reinforced plastic in Nagoya City, Japan shortly after finding the designs for the horse in 1967. The horse stands 8.3 meters high outside the Nagoya Congress Center.
-Da Vinci 43 Years Old Depicted here is a priceless caricature of a man with bushy hair sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci during his ventures in Milan, Italy. Though there is little known about this exact drawing, Da Vinci frequented his hand in the art of caricatures and portraits and would, many times, sketch others without being commissioned to do so.
-Da Vinci 52 Years Old Following his stay in Milan, Leonardo Da Vinci found himself in the service of the warrior Cesare Borgia as a military engineer in 1502. Exceeding fifty years of age Da Vinci was constantly surrounded by military and would often sketch their anatomy. This picture, "The Study of Two Warriors' Heads for the Battle of Anghiari" depicts a man suffering from shell shock displaying his rage and horror felt from battle.
-Da Vinci 52 Years Old Demonstrating his incredible skills for attention to detail, painting such perfect flowing hair, Leonardo DaVinci had once finished a complete painting of Leda that was later destroyed during the eighteenth century. The picture shown here is one of a few rough drafts Da Vinci created before starting on the tragically fallen painting.
-Da Vinci 58 Years Old In an extremely talented effort to display the muscles in both the shoulder and neck of a human body, Leonardo Da Vinci gives us what is referred to as the 'thread model' invented by master Da Vinci. This method highlights the muscles showing where they are seen forcing themselves against the skin protruding outward. This allows one to perceive the dimensions and flowing direction of the entire muscular system all at once.
-Da Vinci 65 Years Old Giving an account of his personal experience with natural devastation, Leonardo Da Vinci paints a town of people, animals, trees, and buildings falling victim to fierce and uncontrollable destruction of mother nature. Da Vinci additionally wrote of his accounts saying, "Let the dark and gloomy air be shown battered by the rush of contrary and convoluted winds, mixed with the weight of the incessant rain and bearing hither and thither numberless branches rent from trees and mingled with numberless leaves . . . The ruins of mountains may be seen, already scoured by the racing of the rivers, collapsing above these rivers and blocking the valleys; the pent up rivers burst forth and inundate many lands and their inhabitants..." It is equally fascinating to read his account with a tornado saying, "I have seen motions of air so furious that they have gathered up and mingled in their course the largest trees of the forests and whole roofs of great palaces, and this same fury made a hollow opening with its vortex motion and excavated a gravel pit and transported gravel, sand and water more than half a mile through the air."
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