The 12 Most Famous Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci

famous paintings by leonardo da vinci

These are the 15 Most Famous Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), born in Italy, was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer, and draftsman. Also, he is known as “The Renaissance Man” during the Italian Renaissance. Growing up with an open mindset and a sharp brain allowed him to understand scientific and natural laws. Gaining scientific knowledge and talent provided him with a lot of motivation.

Mona Lisa (1503–1506)

This is, without doubt, the most popular of the famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. It is widely thought to be a painting of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of merchant Francesco del Giocondo.

She is focusing her gaze on her husband. It is a famous painting because it reflects the Renaissance art era and is a symbol of human creativity. Darker colors were used to highlight the motif’s elements and boundaries. Using this technique, he grabbed the interest of the art community in Paris.

The Last Supper (1495–1498)

This is a painting of the Last Supper of Jesus with the Twelve Apostles, as related in the Gospel of John, the time when Jesus revealed that one of his apostles would betray him. The arrangement of the scene was masterful in its majestic simplicity; the intensity of its effect came from the vast difference in the emotions of the 12 disciples as opposed to Christ.

The Last Supper has been painted, repainted, tampered with, and nearly destroyed several times. Not a lot of the original paint exists in its current state.

Bacchus (1510–1515)

This is a painting of a male with a garlanded head and leopard skin, sitting in an ideal environment. Its initial title was “John the Baptist.” Repainted in the late 17th century, it depicts Bacchus, the Roman god of pleasure and wine.

The painting is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s established designs and sketches. However, many believe that it was actually run by an unnamed student from Leonardo’s workshop.

Lady with an Ermine (1490)

One of the famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci is Lady with an Ermine a painting of Cecilia Gallerani, a young woman from the Milanese court in Italy who was the mistress of the Duke of Milan. She carries a white ermine.

This is an excellent example of Leonardo’s distinctive painting style and light and shadow crossing. It’s the first Renaissance painting of a lady that not only shows her beauty but also her personality and thoughts.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (1503)

This is a painting of Saint Anne, her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and the newborn Jesus. Leonardo’s composition shows the mother-daughter bond between the two ladies.

Leonardo had been obsessed with the painting and its concept for a long time. It took him several years to complete and he had a hard time capturing their personalities and relationships.

Saint John the Baptist (1513)

This is a painting of a Baptist in the Louvre, Paris, singing on walnut wood. It’s the last painting by Da Vinci before the High Renaissance transitioned into Mannerism. The significance of salvation through baptism, which John the Baptist represents, is symbolized by St. John’s pointing gesture toward the heavens.

Benois Madonna (1478)

The Benois Madonna is a painting of the Madonna and Child, a subject Leonardo frequently returned to throughout his life. It’s notable and rare since it appears to represent a joyous scene, as demonstrated by the young Madonna’s smiling expression.

It had an unusually natural approach that differs from works of art produced by other artists of the time because of its use of light and shadow.

Annunciation (1472)

This is a painting of the Angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary, announcing to her that she has been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son, as represented in the New Testament. This differs from the usual paintings of the Annunciations, which show creativity and inspiration.

Each part of the Annunciation was thoughtfully developed by Da Vinci, who created complex parallels between Christ’s life and death. That said, this early work is technically flawed ass Leonardo matured his technique of depth.

Ginevra de Benci (1474)

This is a painting of a famous young Florentine aristocrat. In Italian art, it is the first known three-quarter-view portrait. She gives the viewer her whole attention. Her face’s planes were carefully modeled, and she may have “come to life” in front of viewers in a way, unlike any other painting they had seen before.

Salvator Mundi (1490)

This is a painting of a half-length image of Christ as Savior of the World, facing forward and dressed in Renaissance attire. This painting is known to exist for a long time but was assumed to have been destroyed.

Da Vinci created two preparatory drawings for the painting, as well as more than 20 painted copies by students and supporters.

The Salvator Mundi was sold in 2015 for a record $450 million dollars, however, its attribution to Leonardo is widely disputed.

Virgin of the Rocks (1495–1508 – National Gallery)

This is a painting in rocky terrain where the Madonna and Christ Child are joined by a newborn John the Baptist and an angel. It was created for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Milan’s San Francesco Maggiore church.

The artwork is remarkable and uncommon because Leonardo chose a dark background of rocks to paint the faces in light. It is one of the most famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci.

Virgin of the Rocks (1483–1486 – Louvre)

This is a painting in rocky terrain where the Madonna and Christ Child are joined by a newborn John the Baptist and an angel. It is generally accepted that this artwork was created in 1483 in response to a request in Milan. Leonardo’s sfumato technique is well-represented in this famous painting.

What famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.

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