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Discuss The Connection Between Leonardo Da Vinci And Naturalism In His "Annunciation" And His Other Works.

1096 words - 4 pages

Leonardo's 'Annunciation' For the young Florentine painter, Leonardo de Vinci was quite emphatic with portraying things as they were seen. This naturalism was quite apparent in many of his early works and carried out throughout his entire ensemble of pieces that are attributed to his name. Leonardo was fascinated with nature. Many of his earliest sketches are of plants, flowers, and botanicals which are represented with great detail and labor, striving to give them the beauty that he experienced from them. This desire to portray things naturally, or realistically, carried over into his backgrounds, his portrayal of figures, his draperies, and his many other talents; sculpture, sketches, and even making the pigments of the paints he used in order to better represent his figures more realistically. Many of these characteristics are seen in one of his earliest paintings, Leonardo's 'Annunciation'. From analysis of this painting we can see this young painter's desire to paint naturally, realistically portraying the figures, the background, the flowers, the trees, and the niche in which the Virgin sits. This painting, although some doubt is totally by the hand of Leonard, shows many of his unique styles. These styles he may have learned in Verrocchio's workshop, however he made his own renditions to these styles. This is apparent in many aspects of the 'Annunciation' as well. First, by looking at Leonardo's very realistic drapery of the angle and the Virgin we see his attention to naturalism. Leonardo made many drapery studies, many of which we have today, that are very obviously 'redone' in many of his works. By comparing his drapery studies to the drapery of the angle and the Virgin, it is quite evident that they are by the same hand. This style of drapery became a very Leonardesque characteristic of his paintings. This style, although no doubt learned in Verrocchio's workshop, I believe surpasses any of the drapery studies that we have from Verrocchio himself. Verrocchio's studies do not pay as close attention to the light and the shadow, which Leonardo took great advantage of in order to give the draperies the curves and the contours that made them look real, as if they actually had a something underneath them. Although Verrocchio's are very similar, one can see the difference in the two artist's styles by examining Verrocchio's 'Baptism of Christ." Also during Leonardo's time in Verrocchio's workshop, we can see that he studied the new perspective system that Master Filippo Brunelleschi developed. This system was expanded upon in Leon Battista Albert's definition of painting, from his 'On Painting' published in 1435. Brunelleschi created a new mathematical theory of perspective with the purpose of creating the illusion of depth, or three-dimensions, on the flat two-dimensional plane of the canvas. Alberti, suggested that this new linear perspective would aid in the circumscription, the composition, and the...

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