Essay About Leonardo da Vinci
Renowned by many as the greatest visionary of his time, Leonardo da Vinci through his many interdisciplinary works, proved to many that his capabilities were ahead of his time. But behind the legendary persona that is da Vinci and the pieces he created, lies a story worth telling. On April 25th, 1483, the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in Milan commissioned Leonardo da Vinci, who had recently relocated to Milan, to paint a piece to be placed in the Chapel of the Conception in San Francesco Grande. da Vinci produced the Virgin of the Rocks, but not just one, he created two similarly looking pieces. The story behind these pieces go beyond art itself and deals with greed and french royalty.
To fully understand the painting, the belief of the Franciscan Immaculis needs to be examined. This sect believed in principle that Mary had been conceived without original sin. This doctrine would need to be exemplified in this art. The contract created between the Confraternity and da Vinci also included De Prédis brothers, Evangelista and Ambrogio. The contract required the brothers to paint in oil on blank panels and to also gild previously prepared wooden structures.
However, the main part of the piece —the central panel— was to be painted by da Vinci himself. This central panel was to be composed of the Immaculate Virgin and Child. In da Vinci’s finalized paintings, it shows Madonna and Christ Child with the infant John the Baptist and an angel. They are located in a rocky setting, key to the overall meaning, as it is one of the many anecdotes da Vinci tries to capture. Mary has her right arm around the infant John the Baptist, who himself has his hands put together, a gesture of prayer to the Christ child. The Christ child in turn, with his two fingers held up, blesses St. John. Mary’s left hand hovers protectively over the head of her son.
Toward the right, the viewer can see the, who is looking out and pointing toward St. John. The character, with their gestures and individualities, each add value to the painting. Mary’s right arm shows a sign of protectiveness that she holds for John. pic- tonally manifests the great love which Mary felt for her Son’s Percursor and also John’s love for her. Furthermore, Mary’s gesture further supports the belief in the Immaculate Conception, a key reason for this piece to be made in the first place.