Most Famous Paintings of Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo grew up with the usual elementary education (reading, writing, and arithmetic). In 1466, at the early age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to one of the most successful artist of his time, Andrea di Cione.  Andrea di Cione, who was known as Verrochio, had a workshop in Florence Leonardo an education in the humanities and learns the different technical, artistic and other skills used in the field of art.  Leonardo stayed at this workshop for five more years, and then he began to work alone in Florence, Italy until 1481. He moved and lived in Milan, Italy from 1482 to 1499.  He then left that city in search for mathematician Lucas Pacioli in Venice, Italy. After spending some of his time in Venice, Leonardo then returned to Florence and was renowned as the “native son.” In that same year he was appointed architectural expert. Due to political events, at 60 years of age, Leonardo moved to Rome, Italy in 1513. In 1516, Leonardo left Italy and moved to Cloux, later to become Clos-Luc’e, France. He died in 1519 In Cloux and buried in the palace church of Saint Florentin, which was later destroyed during the French Revolution.


Five great Di Vinci paintings

1503 – 1506: Mona Lisa (la Gioconda, laughing one) or “My lady”

  • Oil painting on popular panel: 77 x 53cm (30 in x 21 in)
  • Acclaimed as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about and the most parodied work of art in the world.”
  • Considered that the painting is a picture of Lisa Gherardini


1495 -1498: The Last Supper

    • Tempera on gesso, pitch, and mastic type of painting: 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in)
    • Painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples


1512 : Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk

  • Only surviving self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
  • Red chalk on paper type of painting: 33.3 cm × 21.6 cm (13.1 in × 8.5 in)
  • Painted at 60 years of age
  • Some say it “transfers great strength to people who observe it”

1489 -1490: Lady with an Ermine

  • One of only four paintings of women by Da Vinci and the most famous after the Mona Lisa
  • Painting of Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of his patron Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan
  • Oil painting on wood panel: 54 cm × 39 cm (21 in × 15 in)
  • Is a great example of Leonardo’s expertise in painting the human form
  • The attention to detail, each fingernail, wrinkle in her knuckles, and the flexing of her tendon in her bent finger
  • Ermine is a term used for “stoat in its white winter coat” and a symbol of purity
  • Symbol of Cecilia’s pregnancy

1483 – 1486: Virgin of the Rocks

  • Oil painting on panel that was transferred to canvas: 199 cm × 122 cm (78.3 in × 48.0 in)
  • Represents the moment when the infant John the Baptist, escorted by an angel, visits the Madonna and child Jesus returning home from Egypt
  • John represents and worships Jesus as the Christ
  • This painting reveals Leonardo’s painting at the purist