Sunday, December 25, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci

Virgin of the Rocks
Oil on panel
199 x 122 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452 - 1519) was one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. He has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination".

His profound love of knowledge and research was the keynote of both his artistic and scientific endeavors. His innovations in the field of painting influenced the course of Italian art for more than a century after his death, and his scientific studies-particularly in the fields of anatomy, optics, and hydraulics-anticipated many of the developments of modern science.
Although Leonardo produced a relatively small number of paintings, many of which remained unfinished, he was nevertheless an extraordinarily innovative and influential artist.
As a scientist Leonardo towered above all his contemporaries. His scientific theories, like his artistic innovations, were based on careful observation and precise documentation. He understood, better than anyone of his century or the next, the importance of precise scientific observation.

He is considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. A creator in all branches of art, a discoverer in most branches of science, and an inventor in branches of technology, Leonardo deserves, perhaps more than anyone, the title of Homo Universalis, Universal Man.