A Universe Trapped in a Labyrinth

This is my boring and interesting and teenager life spanning from age 15 to 18 (and hopefully beyond).
Within you'll find many re-inventions of myself, boy trouble, school trouble and life trouble. (Plus interesting bits I thought I would include as well).
Do you dare to enter the maze?

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107. Leonardo Da Vinci: A Wannabe Artist's perspective.

 

13th April 2016

 

Leonardo needs no introduction from me.

Anything that can be said about him has already been said.

 

Although the King of France once said that: “No man knows more than Leonardo Da Vinci”.

 

My visit to the Laing gallery today in order to see his works has proved that statement. Primarily a painter, Leonardo lived through the Renaissance; a time of genius, new ideas and exploration. With his many talents as not only an artist but also as an engineer, writer and scientist, it is clear to see why his works were featured in the Royal Selection housed in Windsor Castle, London.

 

From my perspective, as an aspiring artist, it is evident that Leonardo had to understand an object or person's structure in order to paint it. His artistic journals are full with notes and sketches of many structures that caught his eye. For example, his study of bird wings (although not featured in the Laing gallery) detailed on how birds could fly - several centuries before slow motion cameras captured the same ideas. Also, because we cannot depict every detail of the world around us, good drawings, one could argue, are simply the result of a series of decisions made by the artist about what to include, and what to leave out.

 

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary,” Picasso famously said.

There is no better way of training oneself to eliminate the unnecessary and notice the most important elements of a particular object, than by drawing it while it’s on the move. This is exactly what Leonardo did, capturing moving animals such as cats and lions in order to refine and broaden his art technique.

In addition, some of Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings are still used in many medical schools, as references to this day. He wanted to understand how the body worked and so had access to human corpses in order to learn from, and although gruesome it provided accurate education as to the function of the body. His work in metal point, the craft of dragging a silver stylus across a surface, and red chalks on prepared paper is evidence that Da Vinci’s attention to detail came from experience and practice, which gave way to talent.

The visit to see his works have taught me many things about being an artist and what it means. For example, a good artist simplifies, deconstructs, reinterprets, and understands their subject matter. And as a result of seeing his works in person one can expect to learn from Leonardo’s way of art, that his mastery is compared to that of trained archers who know their weapon and its target without even having to aim.

 

So take up your weapon; take aim; and draw!

K. 

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