Although Leonardo's paintings are badly preserved, they are all fascinating. Leonardo created an enigma to which he gives no answer.
From 1503 until 1506 Leonardo was painting a portrait of the wife of the prominent Florentine citizen. The painting is known today as the Mona Lisa. The figure sits in a relaxed position, with hands quietly crossed, before one of Leonardo's richest and most mysterious landscape backgrounds, traversed by roads that lose themselves, bridges to nowhere, crags vanishing in the mists. This attitude of total calm became characteristic for High Renaissance portraits. The face has suffered in the course of time but nothing has spoiled the sad half smile that plays about the lips.
For a year or two Leonardo worked for the notorious Cesare Borgia, designing battle engines, siege devices and making maps. The Florentines commissioned Leonardo to paint the Battle of Anghiari on a wall of a newly constructed Hall of Five Hundred in the Palazzo Vecchio. This painting depicted an event from 15-th century history. It was part of a general programme to celebrate the newly revived republic.
Leonardo's later life was a succession of trips between Florence, Milan and Rome. He painted little in his later years. At his death Leonardo's artistic influence was immense, but much of his scientific work had to await later rediscovery.
Make sure you know how to pronounce the following words:
Leonardo da Vinci; Raphael; Immaculate Conception; magi; Verrocchio; Mona Lisa; Milan; Cesare Borgia; RomeNotes
Baptism of Christ – «Крещение Христа»
Adoration of the Magi – «Поклонение волхвов»
Madonna of the Rocks – «Мадонна в гроте»
Madonna and Saint Anna – «Святая Анна с Марией и младенцем Христом»
Last Supper – «Тайная вечеря»
Mona Lisa – «Мона Лиза» («Джоконда»)
Battle ofAnghiari – «Битва при Ангиар»Tasks
I. Read the text. Mark the following statements true or false.
1. When Leonardo began his career artists lived like princes.
2. In the Last Supper Leonardo has painted a higher reality, thus making a complete break with the Early Renaissance.
3. The Battle of Anghiari is the earliest and most famous Leonardo's picture.
4. In the Madonna and Saint Anna the figures are pictured in a strange rocky shadowy grotto.
5. The Madonna of the Rocks was designed in Florence in 1501 and completed many years later in Milan.
6. The Adoration of the Magi was Leonardo's last work.
II. How well have you read? Can you answer the following questions?
1. How did Leonardo fulfil the Renaissance ideal of the Universal Man?
3. What does Leonardo's reputation as an artist rest on? What happened to his other works of art? Why?
4. What is Leonardo's first masterpiece? What colour dominates in this work of art?
5. In what work of art has Leonardo interpreted the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception? How has he interpreted it?
6. What does the Madonna and Saint Anna represent?
7. What compositional form dominates in Leonardo's works?
8. What is pictured in The Last Supper? Where do the figures operate? How are the Apostles arranged? What does each of these numbers mean?
9. What is the Mona Lisa famous for? What is depicted in the background?
10. What else did Leonardo create in Florence?
11. What did Leonardo do in his later life?
III. I. Give Russian equivalents of the following phrases:
an apprentice; to surpass the achievements of the time; a craftsman; workshop; the Oratory of the Immaculate Conception; a monochrome underpaint; a pyramidal composition; the taint of the Original Sin; traditional representations of the ordinary theme; sacrificial death; to manifest the Divinity; to take smb under the protection; to betray the cause; the prophecy of the Baptism of Christ; to create an enigma; notorious; a characteristic device; on the end wall of the refectory; to make a complete break with; the figure sits in a relaxed position; to suffer in the course of time; a smile plays about the lips; on the dry plaster.
II. Give English equivalents of the following phrases:
ремесленники; члены гильдии; символ жертвенной смерти; традиционное изображение обычной темы; на сухой штукатурке; возродить авторитет классической античности; взять кого-либо под свое покровительство; пирамидальная композиция; церковь Непорочного Зачатия; предать дело; одноцветный набросок; позор Первородного Греха; проявить божественность; пророчество крещения Христа; опередить достижения своего времени.
III. Make up sentences of your own with the given phrases.
IV. Translate the following groups of words into Russian:
ideal – idealism – idealistic; invent – inventor – invention – inventive; craftsman – craftsmanship; apprentice – apprenticeship; symbol – symbolic – symbolism; pyramid – pyramidal; commission -commissioner; city – citizen – citizenship; relax – relaxation – relaxed; betray – betrayal – betrayer; manifest – manifestation; mature -maturate – maturation – maturely – maturity; concentrate – concentrated -concentration; fame – famous; gift – gifted.
V. Arrange the following in the pairs of synonyms:
a) gifted; traditional; outstanding; characteristic; complete; progress; enigma; famous; notorious; to commission; prophet; baptism; protection;
b) riddle; consecration; celebrated; infamous; talented; conventional; prominent; guardianship; typical; entire; advance; to order; foreseer.
IV. Here are descriptions of some of Leonardo's works of art. Match them up to the titles given below.
1. The Apostles are presented in four groups of three each.
2. Christ Child manifests his Divinity as he blesses the infant St. John.
3. This painting depicts an event from 15-th century history.
4. The face has suffered in the course of time but nothing has spoiled the sad half smile that plays about the lips.
5. It was never carried any further than the monochrome underpaint.
6. The Virgin sits on her mother's lap, as in traditional representations of this theme.
a. Mona Lisa
b. Adoration of the Magi
c. Madonna of the Rocks
d. Last Supper
e. Madonna and Saint Anna
f. Battle ofAnghiari
V. Insert the missing prepositions. Retell the text.
… Leonardo architecture was based… the twin principles… geometric relations and natural growth. And nothing was so important as the central-plan structure. This new organic architecture was realised… Bramante's plan for Saint Peter's. But the idea… it originated… Leonardo's mind. Leonardo abandoned both the planar architecture… Brunelleschi and the block architecture… AlbertI. He began… plans and perspective drawings… the same structure. Leonardo started… an octagon surrounded… eight circles, and a Greek cross whose arms, terminating… four semicircular apses, embrace four additional octagons… each… which a tower must be erected.
VI. Insert the article wherever necessary. Retell the text.
Nothing in Leonardo's scientific drawings is quite as exciting as his Olympian views of… nature, which illustrate his standpoint in… Renaissance debate about… relative importance of… various arts. Leonardo maintained that… painting deserved… position as one of… liberal arts, more than… music or… poetry… Music, he noted is dead as soon as… last sound has expired, but… work of… painting is always there to be seen. He pointed out, no one ever travelled to read… poem, but… people journey… hundreds of miles to see… painting. Leonardo did not admit… sculpture to… liberal arts;… painter could work in quiet, sitting down, richly dressed and listen to… music while he worked, while… sculptor was covered with… sweat and… dust and his ears deafened by… noise of… hammer and… chisel on… stone.
VII. Translate the text into English.
Леонардо да Винчи – первый художник Высокого Ренессанса, недолгого золотого века итальянского искусства. Произведения этого периода характеризуются синтезом прекрасных сторон жизни. Фигура ангела, написанная Леонардо, в картине его учителя Андреа Вероккио «Крещение» демонстрирует разницу в восприятии мира художниками разных эпох.
С 1482 по 1499 гг. Леонардо жил в Милане. Это был один из лучших периодов творчества художника. Здесь он написал «Мадонну в гроте» – первую монументальную алтарную композицию Высокого Ренессанса. Самая большая работа Леонардо – роспись стены трапезной монастыря Санта Мария делла Грацие на сюжет «Тайной Вечери». Христос в последний раз встречается за ужином со своими учениками, чтобы объявить о предательстве одного из них. Леонардо показал реакцию двенадцати апостолов на слова учителя. Судьба фрески трагична. Эксперименты Леонардо привели к ее быстрому осыпанию.
В 1503 г. во Флоренции Леонардо выполнил картину на тему битвы миланцев и флорентийцев при Ангиари, заказанную для стены нового зала палаццо Синьории и создал портрет Моны Лизы, супруги Франческо дель Джокондо. Мона Лиза изображена на фоне пейзажа с мостами и дорогами в никуда, скалами, исчезающими в облаках. В портрете Моны Лизы достигнута наивысшая степень гармонии и красоты образа эпохи Высокого Ренессанса.
VIII. Summarize the text.
IX. Topics for discussion.
1. Leonardo's religious paintings.
2. Leonardo's portraits.
3. Leonardo's artistic influence.
Unit VI Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
The sixteenth century in central Italy was dominated by the colossal genius of Michelangelo BuonarrotI.
Michelangelo learned the techniques of painting during a year of his boyhood spent in Ghirlandaio's studio, sculpture he studied with Bertoldo di Giovanni, the pupil of Donatello. His earliest masterpiece is the Pieta, done in 1498-99/1500 during his first stay in Rome. The perfect formation of the slender Christ, lying across the knees of his mother, excited the admiration of Michelangelo's contemporaries. The exquisite Virgin looks as young as her son. The ageless Virgin is a symbol of the Church, she presents the timeless reality of Christ's sacrifice. The extreme delicacy in the handling of the marble and the contrast between the long lines of Christ's figure and the crumpled drapery folds produce passages of a beauty that Michelangelo never surpassed, despite the grandeur of his mature and late work.
The heroic style for which Michelangelo is generally known is seen in the David more than 14 feet in height, which was carved in 1501-4, for a lofty position on one of the buttresses of the Cathedral of Florence. When the statue was completed, it was so beautiful that the Florentines could not sacrifice it in such a position. It was placed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, where it became a symbol of the republic ready for battle against its enemies. The David became the first true colossus of the High Renaissance.
In 1505 Michelangelo was called by the warrior pope Julius II to design a tomb for him. This project with more than forty over-life statues in marble and bronze relief would require a lifetime. After several successive reductions the tomb was brought to completion only in 1545. Three statues remain from the 1505 version.
The world-famous statue of Moses was intended for a corner position on the second story of the monument so that it could be seen from below. Like all of Michelangelo's works, the Moses, is symbolic and timeless. Moses is conceived as an activist prophet, a counterpart to Saint Paul. The bulk of the figure is almost crushing. Moses' head with its two-tailed beard, is one of the artist's most formidable creations; the locks of the beard are lightly drawn aside by the fingers of his right hand. The drapery masses enhance the compactness of the figure.
The two Slaves for the 1505 and 1513 versions of the tomb were planned to flank niches around the lower story, in which were to stand Victories. The figure called the Dying Slave is actually not dying but turning languidly as if in sleep; one hand is placed upon his head, the other pulls unconsciously at the narrow bond of cloth across his massive chest. The strikingly different companion figure, the Rebellious Slave, exerts all his gigantic strength in vain against the slender bond that ties his arms. The new figure type created by Michelangelo in the David, and set in action here for the first time, established a standard that influenced a great number of artists. Throughout the late Renaissance and the Baroque, Michelangelesque heavy muscled figure was almost universally imitated.
In 1508 Michelangelo was given a commission to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The upper walls had been frescoed in the 1480s by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and SignorellI. Julius II asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling, a flattened barrel vault more than 130 feet long. It was the most ambitious undertaking of the entire Renaissance.
The painting represented the drama of the Creation and Fall of Man and consisted of nine scenes, beginning with the Separation of Light from Darkness and ending with the Drunkenness of Noah. In the vault compartments above the windows and in the lunettes around the windows are represented the forty generations of the ancestry of Christ, and in the spandrels at the corners of the Chapel are pictured David and Goliath, Judith and Holofernes, the Crucifixion of Human and the Brazen Serpent.