Saturday, December 25, 2010

Birth Of Christ

click to enlarge
Leonardo da Vinci, (unfinished) Adoration, 1481-2. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi.

This unfinished panel in the Uffizi is nonetheless a masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance. Observe the application of Albertian principles to draw the view in (the figures looking out at us or gesturing at us to look in), Leonardo’s own theories about creating dramatic contrasts between figural types (young and old, beautiful and harsh), and Renaissance rules of geometry, like the strong triangle created by the central figures. In its unfinished state this panel also teaches us about the mater’s technique of working on a dark panel and building up first the shadows, then the colour.