Baptism of Christ, parts attributed to Leonardo

Baptism of Christ, parts attributed to Leonardo
Baptism of Christ, parts attributed to Leonardo
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There are documents and historical declarations that prove that the first steps as an artist ofLeonardo da Vincihe took collaborating in the workshop ofAndrea del Verrocchio. But to get an idea of ​​the value of this very young artist and how his teacher soon discovered his full potential, it is enough to see one of Verrocchio's best pictorial works, his Baptism of Christ, which is exhibited today in the Gallery of the Uffizi in Florence.

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Angels in the painting, the one on the left is the most leonardesque

da Vinci participated very prominently in this painting. Leonardo with 17 years enters to work in that workshop. He was not the only student, and like all of them, he initially dedicated himself to copying models and helping the teacher carry out everything he required. However, he soon learned everything that workspace had to offer and began to innovate. Especially in his way of diluting the colors in a peculiar transparent atmosphere, that is to say, here he begins to experiment in his characteristic sfumato that years later will reach its maximum expression in the landscape of La Gioconda.

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Landscape with Leonardo's sfumato

But surprisingly we can see the germ of it in the landscape of this painting by Verrocchio, a landscape that was undoubtedly the work of Leonardo. Just as they came out of her handsfigures of the two angels on the left. Some angels that it is said that Verrocchio did not even want to retouch, admiring the ability of his student and his unmistakable and different way of painting.

Actually, those two angels would have been drawn first by the teacher, and the young student was entrusted with the "transfer" to the canvas. In principle, a job of materializing what his teacher had created, something almost routine, and more in a place on the canvas that was not highlighted. However, the disciple did something different, new, fantastic, especially in the angel on the left, which has a softness in its shapes and textures that Verrocchio never achieved.

However, Leonardo also learned a lot there. For example, he admired the clean and angular line, as well as the color contrasts that give the figures monumentality. And it is that the Florentine school was always characterized by mastery of drawing and chiaroscuro, elements on which precisely da Vinci was going to plan his evolution towards that aerial blur, especially in landscapes, since as here it presents us with somewhat veiled views due to a distance that makes the sky and the air very dense.

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