Italy gave the world many famous names of artists, sculptors, musicians, but perhaps Leonardo da Vinci was and remains the most famous person. You can talk about the great master indefinitely. We touch only one facet of his talent - painting - and tell about the great paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, which can be seen in museums and galleries in his homeland, in Italy.
Since Leonardo himself considered himself primarily a scientist and engineer, his artistic heritage is not so great. After himself, he left about 20 famous paintings and about the same number of drawings. To date, in the homeland of Leonardo, in Italy, 15 paintings and sketches have been preserved, which can be seen in Milan and Florence, where Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked, as well as in Rome, Venice, Turin and Parma.
Pictures of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
Painting by Leonardo da Vinci The Last Supper along with "Mona Lisa" - one of the most famous works of the great master. This huge fresco adorns the wall of the refectory of the Santa Maria del Grazie Monastery in Milan. We have already written about it several times, for example, here.
The Last Supper
The traditional biblical plot of the last supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples amazes with the authenticity of the images. It is known that the Savior and Judas were most difficult for the author. There is a legend that the basis of these two characters, Leonardo took the image of the same person in different periods of his life.
The deep perspective is striking in the picture. The painting "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci was the first work in the history of painting, where the perspective is so organically and clearly expressed, combining space and drawing into a single whole.
Unfortunately, it seems that Leonardo himself didn’t really want his descendants to see this masterpiece. The technique of the painting led to the fact that even before its completion, the paint had already begun to collapse. To date, scientists and researchers are looking for a way to preserve a priceless canvas, but so far to no avail.
Due to the fact that da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper” is not in a satisfactory condition, visitors' access to it is strictly limited. At the same time, 25 people can stay in the refectory for no more than 15 minutes. Therefore, if you plan to see the masterpiece of a master, take care of buying tickets in advance. Blogoitaliano wrote a separate article on how to do this.
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Pictures of da Vinci in the Pinacoteca of Ambrosiana
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana - the second museum in Milan, where you can see the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci.
"Portrait of a musician"
The first one is "Portrait of a musician". Leonardo da Vinci began to write it in the early 90's. XV century., But so to the end and did not complete. The painting took its final form and was slightly redone much later by the followers of the master.
For many years they believed that the painting depicts Lodovico Sforza - the Duke of Milan, the bridegroom of Beatrice d'Este, but at the beginning of the twentieth century. when the upper paint layer was partially removed and it was possible to make out the signatures on a sheet of paper of a young man. These were the words and notes of the Angel Song. The discovery allowed us to conclude that the portrait depicts a musician, most likely the head of the choir of the Cathedral of Milan, Franco Gafuri. However, to date, the authenticity of this version has not been proven and reflections on the personality continue.
"Portrait of Beatrice d'Este"
The second painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Pinacoteca of Ambrosian is "Portrait of Beatrice d'Este". The painting, as well as the "Portrait of a Musician" was painted at the same time and was not finished by da Vinci himself. The final touches belong to his student Giovanni Amborgio de Predis.
Beatrice d'Este is one of the most beautiful princesses of the Renaissance in Italy. She was personally acquainted with Leonardo da Vinci, and the master was even appointed as the organizer of the wedding of Beatrice with the Duke of Milan, Lodovico Sforza.
"Portrait of a musician" and "Portrait of Beatrice d'Este" for a long time was considered paired and placed opposite each other.
Atlantic Code of Leonardo da Vinci
The Ambrosinan library is located next to the Pinacoteca, where another da Vinci treasure is preserved - Atlantic Code of Leonardo. 12 notebooks, 1119 sheets of priceless manuscripts with drawings, graphs, drawings, sketches of famous paintings and frescoes, including the Battle of Angyari and Leda and the Swan that have not survived to this day.
It’s not so easy to visit the Pinacoteca and the Ambrosian library. The excitement surrounding the Atlantic Code has not subsided so far, and an impressive queue can be found at the ticket office of the museum. A great option is to prepare for the trip in advance and book tickets for visiting the Pinakothek online on the SelectItaly website.
You can also see Leonardo da Vinci's paintings in Milan as part of an excursion with our guide Oksana, which Blogoitaliano already wrote about in this article. As part of the tour, you can see the master’s brilliant creations, visit the refectory of the monastery with the painting “The Last Supper”, visit the Ambrosiana library and Sforzesco castle, and if you wish, visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology. Find out more and book an excursion here.
Da Vinci Paintings in Florence
Florence, along with Milan, is inextricably linked with the life of Leonardo da Vinci. It was here that his childhood and youth passed, here he comprehended the wisdom of science and made the first attempts at writing. It is in Florence that you can see the early paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, including those that he painted as a student of Andrea del Verocchio. All of them are stored in the Uffizi Gallery.
Verocchio taught his students a living example, letting them paint parts of his paintings. So still young Leonardo was instructed to depict one of the angels who holds the robe in the picture of the teacher "Baptism of Christ". Leonardo completed the task so well that Andrea del Verocchio after that forever abandoned painting.
Leonardo da Vinci depicted an angel holding robes in his teacher’s painting “The Baptism of Christ”
Attention to detail, blurring of lines and own vision of the plot - this is what distinguished Leonardo da Vinci's paintings from his youth. From the very first works it became clear that Leonardo created new trends in traditional painting. His works did not have clear lines, as before, the objects depicted in the picture, thanks to the play of light-shadow, seemed to dissolve in the surrounding landscape, creating more realistic compositions.
The Annunciation is one of Leonardo’s earliest paintings.
Learning from Verocchio, Leonardo writes another of his famous works - "Annunciation". In the biblical plot characteristic of the Renaissance, the young master made his own corrections. He moved all the Gospel action from Mary’s house to the terrace, focusing on drawing the landscape in the background.
"Adoration of the Magi" features an atypical representation of the plot
Another controversial picture of da Vinci "Adoration of the Magi". She, like many masterpieces of the master, remained unfinished, due to the fact that a year after the start of work, Leonardo left for Milan. The palace, the riders in the background, a large crowd of people around Mary - are completely uncharacteristic of the biblical plot. There are no more analogues of a masterpiece in Italian painting. There is an opinion that among the audience Leonardo portrayed himself at the age of 29 (the young man on the right).
Of the early works in the Uffizi Gallery, two well-known drawings by Leonardo are also kept - "Landscape Arno" and sketch for a picture "The Adoration of Mary".
Copy of Leonardo da Vinci's "Leda and the Swan" in the Uffizi Gallery
There is another interesting picture in the Uffizi Gallery "Leda and the Swan". Unfortunately, the original painting by Leonardo da Vinci has not been preserved to this day. The last time the master’s creation was seen in the 18th century in the Fontainebleau palace However, sketches remained, according to which his followers created several copies. One is currently stored in the Uffizi Gallery, the second in the Borghese Gallery in Rome.
The Uffizi Gallery is a popular museum in Florence. About how to get here and where to buy tickets Blogoitaliano already wrote here.
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Well, for those who, as part of their own sightseeing, lacking fascinating and informative information, we recommend ordering an excursion to the Uffizi Gallery. Find out details and prices in this article.
The legacy of Leonardo da Vinci in Rome
In the capital of Italy, only one picture of the great Leonardo da Vinci has survived - "Saint Jerome". It can be seen in the Vatican Pinakothek.
"Saint Jerome in the desert"
"Saint Jerome" is another of Leonardo's early works. He wrote it in Florence, studying under Andrea Verocchio, commissioned by the papal church, but also did not complete the Adoration of the Magi on the occasion of his departure for Milan. Subsequently, the painting was severely damaged, cropped and sawn into two parts, one of which was used as a countertop in a grocery store. Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Joseph Fesch, assembled the disparate parts, and after his death, Pope Pius IX bought out "St. Jerome" for the Vatican Pinakothek.
The Pinacoteca is part of the Vatican Museums. Here, as well as the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Uffizi Gallery, you can buy tickets online. We have already written a separate article about all the intricacies of booking and buying tickets. You can read it at this link.
Those who are interested in the engineering inventions of Leonardo are also advised to drop by the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Rome. You can visit it both independently and as part of the tour.
Other paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in Italy
Unfortunately, the paintings of da Vinci in Italy can no longer be found, but you can find several drawings and sketches.
"Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci
The most famous of them is "Vitruvian Man" with explanations of the master about the canonical proportions of the human body, is stored in the gallery of the Academy in Venice, two female portraitsmade in pencil can be found in the National Gallery of Parma and in the collection of the Royal Library of Turin.
Self portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
Well and finally self portrait of Leonardo da Vinciwhich caused a lot of controversy, is also in the Royal Turin Library. Not all experts believe that the person depicted in the portrait is Leonardo, but fans of his work often turn a blind eye to research, believing that the great master and famous artist looked like this: an old-fashioned wise man with a sad look ...
Want to see the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci? Then you should definitely visit the homeland of the great master, in Italy. Well, in order to make your vacation budget and truly comfortable, we recommend that you sign up for our free course with useful secrets about traveling in Italy. The course was created by real experts in the country and will allow you to see what 95% of Italian tourists miss.