Leonardo Da Vinci & the Last Supper

Topics: Leonardo da Vinci, Italy, Florence Pages: 6 (1795 words) Published: August 13, 2011
RUNNING HEAD: Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci and
The Last Supper during the
Renaissance Period
February 14, 2010

The Renaissance period is known as a period of the rebirth of Greek ideas. The works of this time were more individualized and the artists had more artistic freedom then were allowed in the Medieval or Middle Ages. One of the greatest individuals of the Renaissance time period was Leonardo Da Vinci. Not only was Da Vinci a great artist, he was also the best in many fields other than art. “Leonardo is often viewed as the archetype of the "Renaissance Man" because of his expertise and interest in many different areas, including art, science, music, mechanics, the arts of war, politics, philosophy, and nearly every other subject that mattered” (Wikibooks, 2010). One of the most famous paintings created by Leonardo Da Vinci is The Last Supper. Explanation of Philosophy

The Renaissance era which followed the Middle Ages brought about a new way of thinking. In the Middle Ages, “it was believed that the universe was hierarchical, organic, and God-ordained. To the philosophers of the Renaissance, it was pluralistic, machinelike, and mathematically ordered. In the Middle Ages, scholars thought in terms of purposes, goals, and divine intentions; in the Renaissance, they thought in terms of forces, mechanical agencies, and physical causes (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). There was a renewed interest in healthy doubting, questioning and experimentation. Fundamental tenets of philosophy

The Renaissance brought the belief that fresh and natural beauty is not a sin but an expression of the divine order (Plumb, 1961). The acceptance of the nude body had artists painting more individuals without clothing. The Renaissance brought about the rebirth of art and learning. There was a revival of interest in philosophy, an upsurge of healthy doubting and questioning and experimentation (Levinger, 1962). The Renaissance brought about greater freedom and economic opportunities. Individual’s views were more optimistic than in the Medieval times and people were getting away from preparing for the afterlife and focusing more on this life. The church began to lose some of its power and control allowing for the emergence of humanism. Humanism saw a decrease in the religious aspect and more emphasis on the individual. Explanation of aesthetics of the philosophy on art

The Renaissance encouraged the use of individual style in the arts. Artists began taking risks during this time period, something that would not have happened during the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance period art was greatly advanced by linear views, this lead to the arts shifting more toward realism. The artists of this time also experimented with light and shadow. Thru this experimentation artists were able to invent three dimensional paintings. Another new way of painting was the use of oil paints and canvas. Some of the themes of art during this period were Naturalism, everyday life, and the more realistic view of human objects in paintings (Renaissanceefellowship.org). The arts began to focus on this world and human life vice the more religious focus of the Medieval period. The Artist

About the Artist
Leonardo DaVinci was born in Florence on April 15, 1452. He was the illegitimate son of a lawyer and a woman believed to be a servant in DaVinci’s grandparent’s house. “He was sent to be the apprentice to Amdrea del Verrocchio, one of the foremost artists in Florence” (Plumb, 1961). He finished his apprenticeship in 1472; however, he stayed in Florence for another ten years. Not only was Da Vinci interested in the arts, he was also interested in mathematics and mechanics. He was especially interested in how living things moved (Plumb, 1961). In 1482, he left Florence and spent the next 20 years in Milan. Milan offered him more that he felt he could receive in Florence. Da Vinci...

References: Capra, F. (2007). The science of Leonardo. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Encyclopedia Britannica. (2010). Western philosophy. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from
Gray, A. (2007). The influence of DaVinci and Michelangelo. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from
Levinger, E. (1962). Leonardo Davinci. New York, NY: Julian Messner, Inc.
Pedretti, C. (2004). Leonardo Da Vinci. Surrey, United Kingdom: TAJ Books.
Plumb, J. (1961). The horizon book of the Renaissance. New York, NY: American Heritage
Publishing Co., Inc.
Renaissancefellowship. (2008). Art during the Renaissance. Retrieved on February 2, 2010 from
Vallentin, A. (1938). Leonardo Da Vinci. New York, NY: The Viking Press.
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