Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was born in 1452 near Vinci, Tuscany, Italy. He was apprenticed to the sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence and in 1478 became an independent master. Around 1483 he moved to Milan to work for the ruling Sforza family as painter, sculptor, engineer and architect.
One Da Vinci’s most famous works, The Last Supper mural, was painted in the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan between 1495 and 1497. He was in Milan until the city was invaded by the French in 1499 and the Sforza family was forced to flee. During his time in Florence, he painted several portraits, but the only one that survives is possibly the most famous of his works, the Mona Lisa, painted between 1503-1505.
Da Vinci returned to Milan in 1506 and remained there until 1513. This was followed by three years based in Rome. In 1517, at the invitation of the French king Francis I, he moved to the Château of Cloux, near Amboise in France, where he died on 2 May 1519.
This is part 1 of a 3-part post on the works of Leonardo da Vinci:
|1470-73 Sleeve study for the Annunciation pen & ink on paper 8.5 x 9.5 cm|
|1472c Annunciation oil on panel 217 x 98 cm|
Generally thought to be the earliest extant work by Leonardo. The work was traditionally attributed to Verrocchio until 1869. It is now almost universally attributed to Leonardo. Attribution proposed by Liphart, accepted by Bode, Lubke, Muller-Walde, Berenson, Clark, Goldscheider and others.
|1470-76 Head of a Woman pen & ink, white heightening on paper 28.2 x 19.9 cm|
|1472c Profile of a Warrior in Helmet metalpoint on paper 28.5 x 20.7 cm|
Silverpoint / Metalpoint
A silverpoint drawing is made by dragging a silver rod or wire across a surface, often prepared with gesso or primer. Silverpoint is one of several types of metalpoint used by scribes, craftsmen and artists since ancient times. Metalpoint styli were used for writing on soft surfaces (wax or bark), ruling and underdrawing on parchment, and drawing on prepared paper and panel supports. For drawing purposes, the essential metals used were lead, tin and silver. The softness of these metals made them effective drawing instruments.
|1473 Landscape drawing for Santa Maria della Neve ink on paper 19 x 28.5 cm|
|1473c The Madonna of the Carnation oil on panel 62 x 47.5 cm|
It is generally accepted as a Leonardo, but has some over-painting, possibly by a Flemish artist.
|1474-78 Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci oil on wood 38.8 x 36.7 cm|
|1474-78 Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci oil on wood 38.8 x 36.7 cm|
The work was proposed as a Leonardo by Waagen in 1866, and supported by Bode. Early 20th-century scholars were vociferous in their disagreement, but most current critics accept both the authorship and the identity of the sitter.
|1475c The Baptism of Christ oil & tempera on panel 151 x 177 cm|
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.
|1478 Study Sheet ink on paper 26.6 x 20.2 cm|
|1478 Study for the Madonna with the Fruit Bowl pen & ink over silverpoint on paper 35.8 x 25.2 cm|
|1478-80 Automobile metalpoint, pen & brush on paper 27 x 20 cm|
|1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat pen & ink over stylus on paper 13.2 x 9.5 cm|
|1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat pen & ink on paper 23.2 x 17.5 cm|
|1478-80 Studies for a Madonna with a Cat pen & ink over chalk on paper 27.4 x 19 cm|
|1478-80 Study for the Madonna and Child with a Cat pen & ink on paper 28.1 x 19.9 cm|
|1478-80 Study for the Virgin and Child pen & ink on paper|
|1478-81 Study for the Adoration of the Magi pen & ink over silverpoint on paper 28.5 x 21.5 cm|
|1478-82 Annunciation oil on panel 16 x 60 cm|
|1478c Madonna with a Flower (Madonna Benois) oil on canvas transferred from wood 50 x 32 cm|
Madonna Benois: Generally accepted
Most critics believe it coincides with a Madonna mentioned by Leonardo in 1478.
|1478c Study of a Child with a Cat pen & ink on paper 20.6 x 14.3 cm|
|1480-82 Studies for Saint Mary Magdalene pen & ink on paper 13.8 x 8 cm © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London|
|1480-85 Designs for a Nativity or Adoration of the Christ Child silverpoint, pen & ink 19.3 x 16.2 cm|
|1480c Lady with a Unicorn pen & ink 95 x 75 cm|
|1480c Lily chalk & ink on paper 31.4 x 17.7 cm|
|1480c St. Jerome in the Wilderness oil on panel 103 x 75 cm|
|1480c Study of Nursing Madonna and Profile Heads|
|1480c Study of a Dog and a Cat metalpoint on paper|
|1480c Study of a Man Blowing a Trumpet in Another's Ear - Two Figures in Conversation pen & ink on paper|
|1480c Virgin and Child with a Cat pen & wash on paper 12.8 x 10.9 cm © Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino|
|1481 Adoration of the Magi oil on panel 246 x 243 cm|
|1481c Linear Perspective Study for The Adoration of the Magi|
The Adoration of the Magi: Universally accepted
|1482-83 Cartoon for the Head of the Infant Saint John the Baptist metalpoint, traces of pen, ink & wash heightened with white on paper 16.9 x 14 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris © RMN|
|1482c Battle between a Rider and a Dragon pen and brush over stylus on paper 13.9 x 19 cm|
|1483-86 Virgin of the Rocks oil on panel 199 x 122 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris. © RMN - Franck Raux_edited-1|
|1483c Head of a Girl metalpoint 18.1 x 15.9 cm|
|1483c Scythed Chariot ink on paper|
|1485 Drawing of a Flying Machine pen & ink on paper 23 x 16 cm|
|1485-88 Study with Shields for Foot Soldiers and an Exploding Bomb pen & ink on paper|
|1485c Drawing of a Flying Machine|
|1485c Studies of a Dog's Paw metalpoint on paper 14.1 x 10.7 cm © The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh|
|1485c Study of a Bear's Head metalpoint on paper 7 x 7 cm|
|1486-87 Portrait of a Young Man (The Musician) oil on panel 44.7 x 32 cm © Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana|
|1487 Cannon Foundry ink on paper|
|1487-89 Fruit, Vegetables and other Studies pen & ink on paper 23.5 x 17.6 cm|
|1487-90 Study of the Effect of Light on a Profile Head chalk, pen & ink on paper 20.3 x 14.3 cm|