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Leonardo And Aesthetic Style Essay

1908 words - 8 pages

Some feel that painting-an aesthetically pleasing art form- is the greatest of sciences; Leonardo Da Vinci is the principle advocate of such a philosophy, and with his works, he has undoubtably convinced many of his belief. Leonardo's talent is as evident as his strange style: he was a man that knew no boundaries. His visual interpretations of objects showed a complete mastery of form and substance. Although he showed absolute brilliance in artistic talents, it is fortunate that we can categorize them into several distinct themes. Leonardo liked to use certain rallying-points in his painting that brought his artwork into a collective whole: they are pieces that round out a complete picture of the man, the life, and the legacy. It is through these themes that we gain an introspective view of a genius. The twisting torso is an idea that took a brilliant mind like Leonardo to bring to fruition. The Gothic and Romanesque periods of art limited their painting not only to the religious, but also to the static: which meant flat two-dimensional images (Giotto) constructed according to strict religious interpretation. Leonardo shows us his first example of the twisting torso in his first major work: The Baptism of Christ (that was completed with his maestro Verrochio). Leonardo paints an angel in the work that almost appears to be rotating her body to adore the figure of Christ. His second example of the twist comes to us in the person of Jesus himself as a boy. In the Benoit Madonna, the baby boy (Christ Jesus) is reaching up to grab a small flower that strangely resembles a cross. The work is a more evident example of twisting: Christ has lines about his waist that display his turning to grab the flower from his flush-to-the-observer lower body. The third and final example of the twisting torso is in the work called the Virgin of the Rocks. The angel in the quaint scene (the first one) turns her body to look and even point to John the Baptist. The picture is a wonderful example, because it almost appears as if she's straining just to appease the Christ-child. The second of Leonardo's techniques is another twisting: that of the hair. Leonardo seemed to want to make his works more visually appealing, and his strange way of livening up his paintings is to "crimp" his subjects hair around their face, but not toward back of their head. These examples are more striking, and this characteristic might be the most evident as it is a common theme in his portraits. The most appealing sample that comes to mind is Ginevra de Benci. Ginevra has reddish hair, and it seems to start waving towards the top of her head, and then gradually curl on the sides of her head. The waving brings her hair out from her face, lightens her appearance, and seems to stretch her face outward. The second instance of twisted hair is he Portrait of John the Baptist. In the picture John is pointing his hand and finger towards heaven as an example and reminder to believers...

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