A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci; considered one of the greatest artists of all time, yet still highly regarded as the father of palaeontology. Even with his array of titles, he still remains an extremely influential person to this day. In fact, he became one of the artists I have decided to focus on for my A-Level.

Having learnt about his work throughout the course of my life, it seemed like a no brainer to feature him as one of my inspirations. As my chosen subject is the afterlife, his accurate and highly detailed drawings and anatomy studies have become a framework of reference to base my ideas. For this part, I have decided to do two sketchbook pages, one small piece, and one canvas.

I have also taken pictures to help with my observations and developments. These are images of our schools biology skeleton, which I thought would give me a better look at the human skeletal structure, and currently would be the closest I could get to the real thing. Close ups of the spine have helped me with some of my pieces, which you can see on my full sketch book artists page. The pictures were taken on an iPhone 6s, with macro and fish eye lenses attached to the camera.

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Considering his views on the afterlife, it seems to be that da Vinci was an atheist, but this could be seen as highly idiosyncratic, as most of the people from his time were Christian. It can be argued that he did in fact believe in God from his depiction of Jesus and his disciples in ‘The Last Supper’. However, this painting was commissioned in 1494 by the Duke of Milan, so it was likely he simply worked on it for the money.

“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”

This quote comes directly from da Vinci, but the fact that he has said ‘mankind’ in his quote leads me to believe that he was something more like a humanist. Humanists base their moral principles on reason, on shared human values and respect for others.


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