Art enthusiasts around the world are celebrating the discovery of a mural under almost 17 layers of whitewash and hidden from view for nearly 500 years!
Workers renovating the Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy were pleasantly surprised when they peeled away several coats of paint to reveal a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci - the master painter and the creator of Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man.
The mural depicts a canopy of mulberry trees and is believed to be actually part of a larger body of artwork painted by Da Vinci while he was the court artist for the Duke of Milan in the 1400s. As with most Da Vinci creations, the branches of the mulberry tree that cross the ceiling with knotted string, create a geometric pattern - similar to the famous Da Vinci knots. Leonardo was obsessed with intricate knots and often used them in his artworks, including the collar of Mona Lisa.
The mural is expected to be fully restored by May 2014.
A Man Of Many Talents
Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in the town of Vinci, Italy. Not much is known about his early childhood other than his father was wealthy and had a number of wives. When he was 14, he became an apprentice to a famous artist named Verrocchio from whom he learned art, drawing, painting and more. Though Da Vinci is regarded as one of the greatest artists in history, he excelled in many areas including drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Leonardo was constantly concerned with the laws of science and nature. His drawings were quite extraordinary - some were previews to later paintings while others were scientific sketches and studies of anatomy.
Among his famous drawings was the Vitruvian Man - a man with perfect proportions. Other famous drawings included designs for flying machines, hang gliders, helicopters, war machines, musical instruments, pumps, and more - all scientific inventions well before their times. Da Vinci was interested in civil engineering and designed bridges, river ways, moveable barricades and much more. He even drew his own self-portrait.
Leonardo was fascinated by human anatomy. He made detailed sketches of muscles, tendons, and the human skeleton, as well as other parts of the body including the heart and other internal organs. They were probably the first of their kind ever. Da Vinci was equally fascinated by cows, frogs, monkeys, and other animals that he depicted in his sketches.
Da Vinci was known as the Renaissance Man and spearheaded the Italian Renaissance movement (see notes). Renaissance Man refers to a person who is an expert and talented in many areas. As an artist, he towered over others. He constantly craved for knowledge and was a master in many areas. He left us many riddles to solve but we still do not fully know the man that was Leonardo Da Vinci.