Leonardo di ser Peiro Da Vinci, the one who is described as the archetype of The Renaissance Man was born on this day (15 April) back in 1452 in The Republic Of Florence (present day – Italy). Most primarily known for his paintings, Leonardo was also an engineer, mathematician, botanist, cartographer, writer and the list goes on. Classified as one of the greatest inventor in the whole of history, Da Vinci did a lot to help revolutionize science. He however, was a very controversial man and his work caused quite a lot of uproar at that time.
Let’s take a look at some of his most controversial paintings:
Mona Lisa is perhaps the most famous painting in the world. Painted in oil on the poplar panel by Leonardo Da Vinci, it has been the subject of considerable amount of dispute and speculation.
The explanation for Mona Lisa’s smile (in the painting) has varied ranged from the scientific theories about human vision to curious supposition about Mona Lisa’s identity and feelings. Some of them describe it as both, innocent and inviting, while, others claim that the secret of Mona Lisa’s smile is in the dynamic position of Mona Lisa‘s facial muscles, where our mind’s eye unconsciously extends her smile. There also have been several American artists who believe that Mona Lisa is actually a portrait of a man, perhaps, Da Vinci himself.
Sitting behind a bullet-proof glass at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the small portrait attracts around six million visitors per year. More and more theories keep pouring in, adding only to the legend of Mona Lisa.
The Last Supper
Painted by Da Vinci in the late 1400s, the painting is subject to many mysterious theories. The theme of the painting is traditional in nature where Jesus is seen sharing the final meal with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion.
Some have identified the person to Jesus’ right not as John the Apostle, but a woman, often purported to be Mary Magdalene. It has also been suggested that there is no cup in the painting, yet Jesus’ left hand is pointing to the Eucharist and his right to a glass of wine.
Despite so many controversies surrounding this painting, it continues to fascinate thousands every day.
Madonna Of The Rocks
Da Vinci, over a span of 25 years, completed two paintings called the Madonna Of The Rocks and The Virgin Of The Rocks.
The Madonna Of The Rocks had sparked controversy because the painting had illuminated John the Baptist rather than Jesus. Therefore, the first version of The Virgin Of The Rocks was rejected by the church due to its heretical content. Whatever may the speculations be, Virgin of the Rocks remains to be a master piece.
Leonardo Da Vinci died at the age of 67 on May 2, 1519. He truly was a genius, leaving behind his beautiful yet haunting paintings for us to admire.