We studied Leonardo Da Vinci. First, we studied one of the best-known paintings in the world. We searched the art room to see if their was a copy….We studied the Mona Lisa! We learned that this painting took Da Vinci three years to paint. When Da Vinci was originally approached, Mona Lisa’s husband, Francesco, didn’t think that Da Vinci would paint her. When Da Vinci saw Lisa del Giocondo, he said yes! Mona means Madame. Lisa was 24 years old when she was painted. Da Vinci brought in musicians to try to amuse Mona Lisa. When we covered her face, we saw that the right side of her face had a slight smile.
When Da Vinci saw a person that he thought had an interesting face, he would follow them around sketching them. We practiced the faces that were made in Five Grotesque Heads. Sometimes Da Vinci went to the jails to study faces for his villians. We guessed the occupation of the subject of Portrait of a Musician. Leonardo Da Vinci was a scientist and he saw correlations between science and art. Learning about both subjects helped him study the other one better. Da Vinci also created inventions such as the spaceship, tank, and war machine. These were not invented during his lifetime. We studied his greatest masterpiece, The Last Supper. We practiced the gestures of the twelve Apostles, who surrounded Jesus. They each pointed their fingers at themselves. We discussed how Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was modeled after one of Leonardo’s sketches of a prisoner. This painting has been restored. Reservations are taken months in advance and the visitors are allowed 15 minutes to view this fresco.
Finally, we studied the self-portrait of Da Vinci at age 62. We noticed his wrinkles and sunken eyes and his long beard. He died five years after this painting was made. Then we practiced writing Leonardo Da Vinci’s name backwards. Often his notes were written backwards and in Italian. Some people guessed that because he was left handed, that this may have been faster. This was also a way for us to study and copy art. Then we tried our hand at shading flowers, oak leaves, and acorns.