At the age of 67, the wise man always livingin the moment died. A quote from Leonardo states “A well-filled day gives agood sleep. A well-filled life gives a peaceful death.” The influence from theworld around him and knowledge in science, engineering, and art helped himdevelop a one of a kind philosophy. There’s no doubt Leonardo da Vinci found mostof his influence through observing the natural world around him.
He used hisobservations of nature to seek the truth. Growing up in the renaissance helpedLeonardo become a historical artist. People like Andrea del Verrocchio and NiccoloMachiavelli played perfect role models for Leonardo da Vinci growing up.Verrocchio developed Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic talent into full potential. WhenVerrocchio noticed Leonardo had surpassed his skills he did the right thing andpassed over the torch.
Niccolo Machiavelli was the first to influence Leonardoto think politically and start landscaping for engineering projects. Leonardo’senvironment kept him formulating new ideas. Future Scientists, artists, philosophers,and engineers take all of Leonardo da Vinci’s accomplishments and use it forinfluence.In 1503, Leonardo da Vinci began workingon the Mona Lisa. This extraordinarypainting was a unique piece of art. In the painting Leonardo ties together, humanitywith nature. Humanity and nature are the two most influential things in Leonardo’sartistic life.
According to Leonardo, man was nature’s most perfect creation,”the measure of all things.” The scenery of rivers from his sketchesare incorporated into the background of the MonaLisa. It’s rumored that the Mona Lisamight be someone Leonardo da Vinci lusts for. In 1506, the French governorcalled on Leonardo da Vinci to come back to Milan, where he would become thecourt painter and engineer to King Louis XII of France. Leonardo needed someoneto who allow him freedom to explore his own ideas. Moving back allowed him towork freely and spend more time on his multiple engineering projects.
Whileliving in France, Leonardo opened a substantially sized workshop with multipleassistants and apprentices. Eventually Leonardo started to age and with nomajor art projects to work on he tended to focus on his engineering andscientific studies. TheLast Supper is Leonardo’s most iconic piece of religiousartwork. Leonardo da Vinci painted The LastSupper for the Duke of Milan. TheLast Supper is in The Bible andis one of the most referenced events in all of Christianity.
The painting picturesan image of Jesus with all his apostles sitting around him at the dinner table.Each apostle is displaying their different emotions because Jesus says one apostlewill betray him. Since a young boy, Leonardo da Vinci remembers having aninterest in the religious artwork at his church.
Although The Last Supper represents the past, Leonardo took inspiration fromhis present day. The Last supper hasinfluenced many modern artists to create their own version of the dinner.Niccolo Machiavelli was a politicalobserver for the city of Florence.
Machiavelli was the first one to spark Leonardoda Vinci’s curiosity for politics. They both wanted to help advancecivilization. During Leonardo’s da Vinci time, Niccolo Machiavelli, was knownas a renowned writer and political thinker. Leonardo da Vinci wanted to help Machiavellibuild a substantial waterworks project that would make Florence more water accessibleby building a system of canals for economic and military purposes.
In addition,Leonardo worked on installing irrigation that would bring water to farmers. Theirgoal was to build Florence into the most powerful city in Italy. While workingon this project Leonardo da Vinci learned how to survey and take measurementsof land. His maps of canals flowing through valleys and mountains set the foundationfor modern cartography. Unfortunately, Leonardo and Machiavelli’s water projectwould be abandoned because it kept getting destroyed by floods. Throughout hiswork Leonardo gained tremendous knowledge of geology.
Leonardo had the abilityto create visualizations of what natural forms of land looked like from space.Andrea Del Verrocchio was a popular painter,sculptor, and goldsmith in the renaissance city of Florence. Verrocchio had aprofound influence on multiple renaissance artists.
Young artists wereattracted to Verrocchio’s studio because it allowed creative thinking. Leonardoda Vinci would eventually spend years working in Verrocchio’s studio. When Leonardowas twenty years old he was accepted into the San Luca guild of painters.
Leonardobegan his professional career but still stayed in contact with the Verrocchiostudio for several more years. Once Leonardo da Vinci finished hisapprenticeship he began painting in a more sculptural style.. It doesn’t takelong for Leonardo to learn how to tie in density and transparency in hispaintings. It is said that Verrocchio assigned Leonardo to paint an angel in apainting he was working on, “The Baptism of Christ.” Once Verrocchio saw howLeonardo handled the light and shadow, he was convinced his young student hadpossessed supreme artistic talent. Andrea Del Verrocchio felt that he needed topass the torch.
Verrocchio influenced multiple creations of the Renaissance andcontinued to have an influence Leonardo da Vinci. One year after moving into hisfather’s household, Leonardo’s father moved the family to Florence. Beforemoving, Leonardo became inspired to one day become an artist after seeing thereligious artwork in his local churches. Leonardo was workingfor the Medici family at the age of just fifteen and showing great potential tobe a painter. Piero da Vinci was a highly respected figure in the Florencecommunity. In 1467, Leonardo’s father employed him to work for Andrea delVerrocchio, the most well-known artist in Florence.
Verrocchio’s art/engineeringstudio brought together the best young artistic talent of Italy. Shadowing thefamous artist on extensive art projects helped Leonardo form his dedicated skillset.Early in his artistic career he began studying the human body, landscapes,animals, and plants intensely in his search to understand all-natural things.Leonardo da Vinci saw the world as a living entity, with all its elements in aconstant rate of change. He believed a true artist first visualizes ideas inhis mind and then puts them into his hands. The scientific method was animportant part to Leonardo’s everyday life, including his art and music. Aninterest in nature led Leonardo to start observing and asking scientificquestions like, “How do birds fly?” Leonardo da Vinci’s first speculation wasthat one could fly if a machine imitated the way birds flap their wings. Everyone of Leonardo’s observations was recorded and sketched out in a journal.
His goalas an artist was to remake the feeling of nature in his art. Much of hisartwork ties together the natural world to the human body. Leonardo always hada fascination for water. One day he noticed a similarity in the way water wouldflow in a stream as it does in veins. Leonardo admired the sense of sightbecause it’s the “window of the soul.
” The human eye is the key for speculatinghow life works. The human body was a major influence for Leonardo da Vinci’sartwork and philosophy. Leonardo da Vincihas many accomplishments as a sculptor, architect, philosopher, engineer, andscientist, but was he influenced by past civilizations or his present day? Inmy opinion, his environment growing up is what influenced him to become such agreat artist.
Leonardo’s unique and innovative mind is what separates him fromother renaissance artists that imitated artwork from past civilizations. Duringthe time, Ancient Greek and Roman culture was used as an inspiration for therenaissance art, science, and philosophy. A lot of renaissance artists wouldtry to emulate classical Greek architecture in their sculptures, but Leonardowas different. Leonardo da Vinci was born in Tuscany, Italy, in 1452.He always had an interest and respect for nature and animals. His childhood wasspent exploring the hills and forests to observe animals. Leonardo’s earliestchildhood memory happened when a bird flew into his crib, influencing him topursue the dream of flying.
As a young boy he had a fascination for all-naturalthings. Leonardo’sfather; Piero da Vinci was a wealthy businessman and land owner with lots of powerfulfriends. His father provided him with a good education growing up. Early on,Leonardo was exposed to his families long painting tradition and displayedsigns of being a gifted artist with a very curious mind. Pieroda Vinci, Verrocchio, and Machiavelli are just a few influential figures thatsurrounded him growing up.
From my observations, Leonardo da Vinci was alwaysin the moment thinking of new ideas. Most of his ideas were formulated throughthe influence of the natural world.