Painters of Reality.

16th Century naturalism was commonly held as being synonymous with Lombard Painting. A Lombard artist is someone totally focused on painting directly from nature, with no or little concern for the higher spheres to which art might aspire, such as imagination, or viewer interpretation.

Defining naturalism is difficult, as our perception is bundled up with our assumptions and expectations, that also change according to time and place. What one person perceives as natural or real is different to others, in different eras and countries or regions.

Da Vinci worked in the Lombard capital until 1499 and again in 1506 and 1513.

For Leonardo Da Vinci , nature was a mysterious generative force, and his paintings depict statements of ambiguity.

Bramantino ( younger generation ) was a devotee of perspective, and the key to nature for him was rooted in mathematics. But he was also appreciatively aware of Da Vinci’s atmospheric beauties.

Da Vinci was obsessed with the beauty and motion of things. He mastered the use of shadows and angles to depict photograph like paintings or murals that engaged the viewer by appearing 3D on a 2D surface.

Book Review

I have read quite a few books on Leonardo Da Vinci, but most recently I read and listened to an audio book with a different format.

The biography by Walter Isaacson, was superbly narrated and was also accompanied by a pdf attachment you download with visual displays of his paintings, sketches, notations and engineering diagrams of flying machines, catapults etc. that the reader points out while you are listening and viewing.

From paintings like The Last Supper to the anatomical perfection of the Vitruvian Man, Leonardo DaVinci is possibly one of the most celebrated artists in history.


He seeked knowledge and was so broad in his abilities, knowledge and accomplishments that he is not just an artist. He was an engineer, philosopher, he studied the human anatomy to perfect his human form and movement in his artwork. He was so devoted that he performed autopsies on cadavers and drew some of the first accurate depictions.

This biography takes you on a visual and audio journey through Leonardo Da Vinci’s remarkable life. He meshed science and technology together, while bridging the divide between the humanities and science.

A creative misfit genius, illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed and at times heretical. Historical documents indicate he was comfortable with who he was, and never hid from them.

To me, his life represents the importance of receiving a broad knowledge base and the abilty to scrutinize and question it. He was playful and imaginative, with moments of fantasy. He thought outside the box, and never stopped. He wasn’t just alive, he lived and explored his own reality and further beyond.

I recommend this book, and further reading on Leonardo DaVinci for people of all walks of life, for his diversity of knowledge, skills and accomplishments. – by Heidi M

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