It is too difficult to judge the top 10 paintings of this multidimensional man who was born on April 15, 1452. But I would try my level best to justify his paintings to the extent possible. This is a personalised selection of Leonardo’s paintings which have struck a chord with almost everyone. He served the world till May 2, 1519 as a painter, sculptor, mathematician, inventor, scientist, musician, engineer, architect, anatomist and writer. He is amongst the top painters of the world.
I do not think this painting needs any introduction as its Leonardo’s most famous painting on which he worked over a period of 20 years. The painting offers a sensation that there is something beyond. The enigmatic smile has stolen the hearts of many and has captured the imagination of the world. The painting was made with Oil paint on poplar in 1503-1507. Presently the painting is in The Musee du Louvre, Paris.
Ginevra de’ Benci
This painting was made by Leonardo in 1474 on wood with oil paints. Presently it is in The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. It is said that Ginevra de’ Benci was a Florentine intellectual and Da Vinci took commission to paint her. Here the greatness of this painting lies in its mysteries. She seems to be unhappy and indifferent in the painting and according to a popular interpretation Ginevra was unhappy about her approaching marriage.
Lady with an Ermine
Lady with an Ermine was made in 1483-90 by Leonardo with oil on wood. Presently it is in Czartoryski Museum, Cracow. This painting is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani who was the mistress of DA Vinci’s employer. The Lady with an Ermine depicts her holding an animal called ermine which can indicate a number of things like purity or pregnancy. Many historians even argued this portrait to be superior of the Mona Lisa as they believed that the subject is more beautiful and captivating.
The Adoration of the Magi
The Adoration of the Magi was made by Leonardo in 1481-82 using brown ink and yellow ochre on panel. This painting depicts that Leonardo was of the opinion that the birth of an infant created a new dawn with the coming of the Messiah or a caesura in history. It is said that he never completed this painting.
The Last Supper
The Last Supper was made by Leonardo in 1498. Presently the painting is in The Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. The painting depicts Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, the moment after Jesus reveals the news that one of them betray him. This painting rightly portrays feelings of dismay and anxiety after hearing the news.
The Virgin of the Rocks
The Virgin of the Rocks was made in 1503-06 by Leonardo. At present it is in The National Gallery, London. The painting portrays 4 biblical characters, the Madonna, the Christ Child, an infant John the Baptist and an angel. Here in this painting the scene is the adoration that the Christ Child receives from John and Baptist.
Madonna Litta by Leonardo was made in 1490-91 with Tempera on canvas. Presently the painting is in The Hermitage, St. Petersburg. It is not confirmed that Leonardo painted it entirely by himself attributed to the flat landscape, some harsh lines and the uncomfortable position of the child. It is said that some students might have worked on this painting as well.
The Annunciation was made with oil and tempera on poplar panel by Leonardo. Presently it is in Florence, Uffizi. This work is universally attributed to Leonardo and consider to be amongst the earliest work by him. Until 1869 this painting was attributed to Verocchio.
St. Jerome in the Wilderness
This painting was made by Leonardo with tempera and oil on walnut panel. It is in Vatican Museums currently. The painting portrays St. Jerome living a hermit life in a Syrian Desert.
The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Bapist
This painting is made by Leonardo with charcoal, black and white chalk on tinted paper, mounted on canvas. Currently it is with National Gallery, London. The drawing portrays Virgin Mary on the knees of her mother St Anne and holding the Child Jesus, the cousin of Jesus, St John the Baptist stands to the right.