Mathematical Order in the Artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci Essay

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Mathematical Order in the Artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci

A large portion of the Italian Renaissance was an obsession with finding order in everything in the universe. Its primary actors sought to show nature as orderly and fundamentally simple. Leonardo Da Vinci, the epitome of the Renaissance Man, was not the first to apply these ideas of geometric order and patterns to art, but he may be the most well known. Da Vinci used mathematical concepts like linear perspective, proportion and geometry in much of his artwork.

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, a town 50 kilometers west of Florence in what is now Italy. The illegitimate son of a notary, he grew to become one of the most renowned and influential men in the fields of
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By using this method, Da Vinci made the painting appear to be an extension of the room itself (Brizio, 52). It should be noted that The Last Supper is his final piece showing evidence of linear perspective. It was completed in 1498. Of the 14 paintings attributed to Da Vinci before 1500, only four use linear perspective (Zwijnenberg, 130-5). So it is clear he was not bound by any one method, just as he was not bound by any one field of study.

Leonardo’s most famous painting by far is the Mona Lisa. It is a simple portrait of a young woman whose identity is unknown. She is sitting in front of a mountainous nature scene dressed in the clothing of the time. The most captivating aspect of the mysterious young woman is her very subtle smile. Not only is this a beautiful painting superficially, but also it is filled with many puzzles that art historians have been studying for years. One of the most interesting is the mismatch in the horizon of the background. The left side is significantly lower than the right. So if the observer focuses on the left side of the painting, she appears to be much taller and more erect than if he focuses on the right (WebMuseum). Da Vinci was a master of using perspective to trick the eyes of the observer.

Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci, c. 1506 [3]

Leonardo Da Vinci, like other artists of his time, paid particular attention to proportion. In The Last Supper, he sought to create a perfect harmonic

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