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Saturday, May 5, 2012


An Incredible Talent by Margot Justes



Renaissance in a literal translation means rebirth. I'm specifically writing about the later Renaissance period that started in the 14th Century in Florence, Italy.  The massive movement affected, politics, literature, industry and of course art; and that is just gliding over the surface.



The impact on art was profound, a new realistic approach to painting where perspective became important-more specifically something called linear perspective-where parallel lines converge so as to give the painting an illusion of depth and distance. That is the accepted definition.



When we look at a painting, we don't say 'ah, I see the linear perspective', we just see a painting and recognize distances and depth and sometimes an added dimension.



There is a recent BBC article written by Robin Banerji about the quintessential Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci, despite being dead for centuries.



The latest article states that his anatomy drawings were quite accurate and better than the 19th Century Gray's Anatomy, and according to the article his anatomy studies were "hundreds of years ahead of its time." A series of drawings of the skull were anatomically correct and  perfect. The article goes on to say that the drawings were as good as what can be drawn today.  Leonardo died in 1519, that puts things in perspective.



Among his many talents, Leonardo da Vinci could paint what he saw perfectly.  That is not as easy as it sounds. I imagine it as he photographed it in his head and later developed it on paper.  A perfect visual image rendered in pigment.



 Till next time,

Margot  Justes

Hearts & Daggers

A Hotel in Paris

www.mjustes.com

2 comments:

Vivienne Courtoise said...

I saw a really cool documentary on how many of the painters did such detailed work. Apparently there was this mirror that reflected what they saw of the model. From there, they could imitate it on a canvas. I wish I knew exactly what it was, but I know a mirror was involved.

Margot Justes said...

I'll have to check that out. I know they studied and dissected cadavers. Michelangelo would visit the Carrara marble quarries and watch the men work, how their bodies moved and muscles strained.
It's incredible, but the results were-dare I say it-eternal.
Margot
www.mjustes.com