2nd May 2019 marks 500 years since the infamous painter, sculptor, architect and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci left this world behind - albeit a brighter and richer place because of him.
Born in 1452, da Vinci was the epitome of a ‘Renaissance man’. His curious mind and keen intellect led him to study science and nature which were a huge influence on his artwork. His ideas and body of work have inspired and influenced thousands and thousands of artists across the world - he was a true leading light of the Italian Renaissance.
Contrary to what popular belief is about this renowned artist, there are actually less than 25 paintings attributed to him - but the ones we know: ‘Vitruvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’ and the ‘Mona Lisa’ are some of the most famous paintings in the Western World.
For your Art, Design and History of Art students, taking them to see da Vinci’s work in the flesh is an absolute must. To immerse your students in the incredible world he created and into the cities that inspired him, will give your students a new appreciation for the art culture they know today.
So, where do you need to take your students to get inspired by Leonardo da Vinci?
Of course, take your students on a school art trip to Florence. Showing your students to the world’s widest and most preserved collection of Renaissance art is a fantastic opportunity to inspire and educate your budding artists.
The Medici family are infamous in Italy - particularly in Florence where they brought Florence to economic and cultural pre-eminence in the 15th and 16th century. Their influence spread throughout Italy and had a huge, positive impact on the growth of the Italian Renaissance because of their love for art and humanism alike. They sponsored Leonardo da Vinci so he could carry out his work, allowing him to become the legend he is known as today.
When visiting Florence, you will experience astonishing art galleries and museums such as the Uffizi and Pittie galleries. Wherever you walk in Florence, you are surrounded by phenomenal renaissance, medieval, gothic and Romaesque architecture that’s unique in Italian’s little corner of the world. As the captain of Tuscany, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it’s really no surprise why. Florence is constructed around the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo which is one of the most visited destinations in Europe.
As well as learning all about Leonardo da Vinci on your Florence school trip, students will also get to explore the Baptisery of Saint John, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which is the third biggest Christian church in the world! As mentioned, the Florentines invested both the Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture, which greatly influenced and revolutionised the way other major cities were built in Europe. Walking through the vibrant streets of Florence, discovering hidden piazzas and being taken in by the iconic sights, statues and sculptures is a sure way to inspire each and every one of your students.
A school art trip to Rome is also a great way to get familiar with the the great da Vinci. Whilst Rome is famous for Michelangelo and Raphael work, da Vinci is still very much present in this ultimate alfresco museum of a city. Rome is steeped in 2000 years of art, history, culture and religion and was the centre of the Baroque movement. da Vinci was amongst a selection of other artists such as Poussin Claude Lorrain, Piranesi, Pannini and Mengs, meaning that today, Rome is a melting pot of artistic delights with a vast selection of museums, galleries, churches include Vatican City Museum. This is what makes Rome an absolute must for all your budding artist students.
Rome is also in fact home to the Leonardo da Vinci museum, which, unsurprisingly, is a museum completely dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, his life, his work, his inventions and drawings. Although it’s not the largest of museums, it’s a fantastic credit to this great artist and definitely somewhere to take your art students when in Rome.
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