Research Paper On Leonardo Da Vinci

Perhaps the most disruptive side of his mind was a voracious curiosity, which both propelled his creativity and distracted him from keeping a steady path to completion.Conscious of his limits, Leonardo tried to work around them, often with unfortunate consequences.Leonardo’s first important commissioned works, some obtained through his father’s connections, were prepared at length but quickly abandoned. Leonardo's struggle to work independently as an artist might also explain his unduly prolonged stay in the Verrocchio workshop lasting until the age of 26 when he probably managed to set up his own independent studio in Florence.

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His unreliability was so well known that the Duke of Milan wished to have Leonardo sign a contract obliging him to finish a work ‘within the stipulated period’ (Kemp, 2006).

When the Duke capitulated in 1499 and parted ways with da Vinci after almost 20 years of service, Leonardo admitted in his diary that ‘none of his projects had been finished for him’ (Vecce, 2006).

Summoned by the Duke, Leonardo quickly justified his delay with the difficulty of finding the models of the last two characters, Jesus and Judas.

For Judas, he explained, he had searched in vain through the jails of Milan for the perfect looking scoundrel.

Alone, Leonardo never managed to organize his large number of anatomical drawings into coherent material for publication.

In his notebooks he dishearteningly annotated: ‘It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end’.His reluctance to work on fresco painting, for example, which requires a quick execution before the plaster dries, led him to risky experiments in seeking out new oil pigments and varnish techniques that endangered the in Florence.Such was Leonardo’s capriciousness that other artists were often called to work on paintings first commissioned to him.The novelist Matteo Bandello, a contemporary who observed Leonardo working on the ‘I have also seen him, as the caprice or whim took him, set out at midday, […] from the Corte Vecchio, where he was at work on the clay model of the great horse, and go straight to the Grazie and there mount on the scaffolding and take up his brush and give one or two touches to one of the figures and suddenly give up and go away again’ (Nicholl, 2004; Vecce, 2006).Leonardo was capable of sustained contemplation or studying, but this was often at the expense of losing track of the overall progression of the project, a relentless procrastination.We do not know in what state of mind Leonardo left Florence but it is possible that he felt ‘a sense of failure and frustration—his paintings unfinished, his lifestyle controversial, his reputation a mix of brilliance and difficulty’ (Nicholl, 2004).For comparison, by the same age, Raphael had already realized more than 80 paintings, including large frescos in the Vatican.Five hundred years have passed since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and much has been written about him.Leonardo the artist, the scientist, the architect, the inventor, whose genius has been perceived as the allure of an unfathomable riddle.Leonardo used his wit to mask his shortcomings and talk his way out of the trouble or embarrassment caused by his behaviour.While working on the , for example, he was subjected to the continuous nagging from the superintending prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie who ultimately asked the Duke of Milan for intervention.


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