Up Close with the Renaissance Genius

Five hundred years after the death of the Italian polymath and one of the great Renaissance masters of our time, I join the world in celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci’s contributions to sundry fields most especially the arts, sciences and engineering. He has tirelessly observed how many things in the world work and studied human anatomy like no other. His inventions are still very relevant today, like a man who saw tomorrow way ahead of his contemporaries. When he said, “learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets,” he drew from how he embraced life and saw the world around him. No wonder they say he is superhuman.

Last May 2019, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit two important places where Leonardo lived his last years. First, the Chateau D’Amboise, residence of the French monarchy from the 15th century and where Leonardo’s body is laid to rest. An eternity flame solemnly burns at the Saint-Hubert Chapel located in the sprawling grounds of the chateau. The second was Chateau du Clos Luce where Leonardo spent his last three years. These two Chateaus are connected by an underground passageway 500 meters apart and sit in the Loire Valley, France. The Chateau du Clos Luce was given by Leonardo’s patron, Francis I, King of France and according to the accounts, Leonardo died on the arms of his beloved friend and king in 1519. Take a tour of the two chateaus and see his chamber, studio, and inventions at Chateau du Clos Luce and the palace grounds, large painting of the Death of Leonardo and chapel of Chateau D' Amboise.

A man of many interests, Leonardo was described as a ‘part-time’ artist. In fact, he was quoted as saying, “art is never finished, only abandoned”. Still, he has left behind masterpieces that left rich, enigmatic and lasting impressions for the next generations from his Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Vitruvian Man, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, and John the Baptist, to name a few of his famous works.

In commemoration of his great influence and in pursuit of continually learning as a student of art, I have attempted to draw some of his “studies” and learn from the master himself. See individual sketches under Gallery Drawing collection.

LDV Sketch Studies by Ioni