Reactions to Leonardo da Vinci works
Leonardo da Vinci undoubtedly occupies a significant position in the Western art. His personality as revealed through his pieces of art is simply intriguing. He was trained as a painter in Florence and sculptor. From his artwork, he is portrayed as a curious individual who had so much hunger for knowledge. He is not only celebrated for his artwork but also the contributions he has made to science.
In as much as Leonardo failed to present his philosophical ideas and perceptions in a well planned and systematic manner, but instead dispersed most of his work in notebooks, critics have been on the lookout trying to find out whether a guiding philosophical information can be deduces from Leonardo’s work. Paul Valery is one of the critical figures of Leonardo’s works. In trying to give reasons as to why Leonardo is not often perceived as a philosopher. He stresses on the facts that the amount of notes and the observations left behind by Leonardo were extremely disorganized. This raises eyebrows on the philosophical thoughts he entertained. On the other hand, as asserted by George Kimball Plochmann, Leonardo certainly developed an implicit philosophical system that was evident throughout his writing. It focused much on the concepts of existence and the knowledge being conveyed (Bradley, 1984, p.18).
In conceding this fact, Plochmann says that the system is further weakened by the failure of Leonardo to clear link between his philosophical principles and the specific subject area he was trying to convey at that period. In the further analysis of Leonardo’s work, Karl Jaspers explores Leonardo’s perceptions concerning knowledge. He insists that for the knowledge and one’s understanding as professed by Leonardo are directly connected with the vision and the supposedly vision supremacy over the rest of the senses (Bradley, 1984, p.26).
Emmanuel Winternitz while analyzing part of the Trattato (Paragone), makes a comparison of the paintings relative to other forms of the art, contends with the idea. He asserts that inasmuch as Leonardo showers much praise on painting as the greatest form of art, a close and keen analysis reveals that music deserves the same status of nobility just as painting. Moreover, other critics such as Claire J. Farago have similarly shared the same sentiments as Winternitz. She says that Leonardo’s defense of painting superiority is simply anchored on the belief that painting bears some scientific perceptions. This relies on the artistic skills of an individual to observe nature and represent the perceptions skillfully and in a truthful manner.
While offering some superficial views about Leonardo as a writer, Robert J. Rodini and Augusto Marinoni attempt to deliberate on the style Leonardo uses in his work. From the summary of the past events that touched on Leonardo’s reputation in writing, Marinoni discusses Leonardo’s manuscripts and the literary values that can be derived from them. From code B and Trivulziano, the critic takes a particular issue with the work regarding the absence of style that is relevant to literary value. The critic further concedes that the work was not meant for literary functions but instead for utilitarian. Conclusively, Marinoni stands firm on his stance that Leonardo failed to offer himself unreservedly disciplined to writing work that were characterized with disorderly expression. On the other hand, Rodini’s analysis of Leonardo portrays him as a humanistic writer. In his criticism, he finds much interest in the potentiality of the language and the limitations. Rodini discovers that Leonardo’s write-ups expose his inadequacy of the right language used to pass across his feelings (Bradley, 1984, p.42).
Bradley, J.L. (1984). Ruskin: The Critical Heritage. New York: Routledge