The Genius of da Vinci – 2

Adoration of the Magi 

One of the many paintings that Leonardo left unfinished, that is a skill all artists possess. The painting portrays the Virgin Mary with her chid and the Magi (the three wise men who paid homage to Jesus as the king of Jews) kneeling in adoration in front of them. Behind them, some ruins along with a few horsemen that appear to be fighting and a palm tree which holds a significance in the Bible.

This unfinished masterpiece now resides at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

The Last Supper                                                                               

The Last Supper is a mural painting that depicts Jesus having his last supper (the last meal of Jesus with his disciples in Jerusalem before he was arrested and crucified). In the painting, Jesus’ Apostles can be seen reacting to him saying “one of you will betray me”, “one of you”, referring to one of his apostles.                                                          This was painted by Leonardo in the late 15th century and started to deteriorate quite quickly, due to humidity and the painting techniques used by the artist. It took a long time to restore this painting with the final restoration being done in 1999 and was then returned back to where it belongs- Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.

Salvator Mundi                                                                                    

In this painting, Leonardo shows Jesus wearing a robe, with the fingers of his right hand forming a cross pointing upwards while holding a crystal ball in his left.                        

This painting was sold for $450 million to Badr Bin Abdullah, a Saudi minister, in 2017.   What makes it worth $450 million?                                                                                

Well, you see no piece of art is only famous for its artistic grandeur, most pieces of art involved in some sort of controversy have a tendency to embark themselves in textbooks. Salvator Mundi went through it’s fair share of controversies. There were multiple times since the birth of this painting when it was thought to be destroyed. The painting vanished from the public eye in the year 1763 and was found in the 1900s in a rather impaired condition. Then in 2005, a group of individuals bought this painting for about $10,000 and was densely overpainted which made it look like a knock-off. Dianne Dwyer Modestini was given the job to restore this painting and the process came to an end around 2010.                                                                                                       

Even now, theories exist about the whereabouts of this piece which adds to the fascination.

Mona Lisa                                                                                          

One of the greatest paintings to ever be painted. Mona Lisa is a portrait painting of an Italian woman Lisa Gherardini painted in the early 1500s. The painting shows the woman looking directly at the observer. The woman in the painting possesses a certain amount of poise and grace. The landscape shown by Leonardo looks very surreal making the painting all the more captivating. The lady’s smile has been a subject of discussion among art lovers but a 2003 study suggested that the smile vanishes when you look directly at her mouth and reappears when you observe the face as a whole.  Leonardo used a technique called ‘sfumato’ with this one which is a technique involving the blending of colors into one another making the transition between different tones easier and giving life to the painting.                           Mona Lisa is housed by the Louvre museum in France