The Renaissance M Leonardo Da Vinci And Jan Van Eyck

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The Renaissance Man was a universal man. He knew a little about everything, instead of knowing a lot about one thing. This man would be able to carry on a conversation about anything. He should also have a knowledge about Latin and Greek. These men were artists, writers, inventors, and more. Leonardo da Vinci and Jan Van Eyck are prime examples of a Renaissance Man, even though they came from two different areas of the Renaissance period. Leonardo da Vinci was born on April fifteenth of the year 1452 in a city in Italy named Tuscany. He moved to Vinci to live with his uncle and grandparents around the age of five. Leonardo did not receive a very formal education when he was younger besides basic mathematics, reading, and writing, however he …show more content…
The Renaissance was a period of human potential and achievements. It changed the way artists looked at and created art. The Renaissance brought about perspective, balance, and proportion. Realism, which is art being made more realistic through natural expressions and poses, was also introduced during this time. “To paint figures more realistically, da Vinci acquainted himself with the muscles, tendons, organs, and proportion of the human body. … Artists as well as medical students often procured corpses of criminals for anatomical study” (Kontos, 1973, p. 111). This was a common, yet repulsive, practice of the time. Leonardo was not the only artist of the time who partook in these gruesome acts, but he is quoted as saying, “We make our life by the death of others” (“Leonardo da Vinci Biography,” n.d.). Leonardo would not have been a world renowned artist or the epitome of a true Renaissance man had he not been able to study the anatomy of humans. Another technique used throughout the Renaissance was the use of oil paints. These oil paints are said to have been invented by Jan Van Eyck. Jan used realism similarly to Leonardo, however in Jan’s paintings, he included a divine presence. “He often charged simple objects with allegorical meanings; as a result, his art has been described in terms of ‘hidden symbolism’” (“Eyck, Hubert van and Jan van,” …show more content…
Four years later, in Milan, he was commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici to create a silver lyre as a peace offering to Ludovico Sforza. He then sent a letter to Ludovico to persuade him to give Leonardo a job designing military weapons. This letter, with drawings of armored tanks and war chariots, earned Leonardo a tenure that would last him seventeen years. Because of this job, Leonardo did not see art and science as separate subjects, but rather as intertwined ones. During his time in Milan, he was commissioned for several different projects, including “Virgin of the Rocks” and “The Last Supper.” “The Last Supper” took Leonardo three years to paint on the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The use of realism in this painting brought the figures of Jesus and his Twelve Apostles to life. Unfortunately, due to Leonardo’s decision to use oil and tempera on dry plaster as opposed to fresco on fresh plaster, the painting soon began to deteriorate. However, modern conservation techniques have been used to restore it. Leonardo returned to Florence in 1502 and began working on the “Mona Lisa” in 1503. “The privately commissioned work is characterized by the enigmatic smile of the woman in the half-portrait, which derives from da Vinci’s sfumato technique” (“Leonardo da Vinci Biography,” n.d.). Jan had a similar career to

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