Leonardo da Vinci - Chapters 16-18 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Chapter 16 focuses on several portraits that Leonardo painted during his time in Milan. The first, an unfinished portrait of a musician, is used as an example of the many mysteries which surround Leonardo's life and work. It is the artist's only known portrait of a man, and there are no contemporary mentions of it; some even doubt its authenticity. On the other hand, the distinctive curly hair, "the expressive and liquid eyes, [and] the use of light and shadow" have led most scholars to believe that Leonardo at least painted the face (236). In addition, the man's face is imbued with "the sense that this is an emotion-laden, real person, with inner thoughts" (238). While this portrait illustrates Leonardo's characteristic use of light, it also demonstrates the flaws of too much sharp contrast in lighting a painting. Next, Isaacson analyses two completed paintings by Leonardo...

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This section contains 1,677 words
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