In the documentary, Leonardo dad Vinci is a Renaissance Man because he excelled in a wide variety of activities. He was a painter, scientist, architect, engineer, and many more. He valued nature’s mysteries in awe. He had the power of intellect – he could be the master of anything he turned his mind to. He was handsome and strong and these qualities were also seen through his painting. Dad Vinci was an illegitimate child and they were a poor family. Illegitimacy hindered him from certain things like inheriting property, taking his father’s name, certain professions & guilds.
He had no real place & he was kept away from people of a different social status. He was accused of sodomy’s. He wasn’t chosen as one of the artists to paint the Sistine Chapel in Rome. These challenges ignited a passion in his heart to push beyond all obstacles and expectations in order to break free from the illegitimacy and low social class. Since dad Vinci wanted to break free from illegitimacy and low social class, he had to have a code of survival and success. He knew that his hope rests in his talent; therefore, he had to excel in it.
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So when they moved to Florence, his father sent him to Andrea De Overreach, a Florentine artist, who gave dad Vinci the experience needed to get into a guild. During these times were when dad Vinci realized the powerful connection between art and power. The Medici were a big influence as the powerful patrons of the arts. Dad Vinci learned all he can in order to excel more. As reflected in his notebooks, “A painter must develop all skills” and doing one thing well, isn’t enough; a person should excel in different activities.
In Overreach’s workshop, he not only learned to paint but he also learned engineering & mechanical training, painting on ceramic, and sculpture in bronze or marble. He loved to observe nature and he believed that only through experimentation can we truly know anything. He always presented himself in a manner which showed him as handsome & strong and therefore immediately likeable. He always pushed himself beyond expectations & if something hinders him from his goal, he finds another way to achieve it.
His code as to never be limited by what has been done before or what others might think. He pushed himself to the limits with his imaginative mind and endless stream of ideas. It was important that he followed his code of survival and success so that he could break free from illegitimacy & be a successful person in the time of Renaissance. If he followed his code, he would become one of the most valued people at that time because it was a period when art was closely related to power. His code pushed him to tackle more ideas, like his cannons, catapults, & ladders.
He had the amazing ability to capture motion & emotion in his paintings and drawings which put him above others. As previously stated, he had the ability of being the master of anything he turned his mind to, which is a result of him following his code. He knew that painting was the in road to patronage life but he unfortunately left it behind to pursue other things that interested him more such as engineering & nature. If I were to pick one of dad Vine’s masterpieces, I would pick The Lady with the Ermine.
I think his painting exemplifies true Renaissance, humanism & Excellence because for me, dad Vinci was able to capture even the smallest details of the lady. He was able to paint the wrinkles in her hand, her nails, and the tendon in her hand. He was also able to accurately paint her even if she appears to be looking somewhere distant or not directly at him. He was able to capture her, as well as the ermine’s, emotion & thoughts and put it to paper. For me, his ability to do that really showed how the Renaissance time was a period of great art and excellence.