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The world of Leonardo 1452-1519 by Robert Wallace

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By Robert Wallace

International of Leonardo

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Sculpture. It is when he was a "child" more time in his stopped painting happily, to his major talents in metal- Leonardo painted the angel unlikely, too, that — Verrocchio young genius strengthened the shop (which was, it He may even have glad of the freedom to devote work and flat backgrounds, in the manner of the time, were re- his Baptism of Christ (pages 44-43), which 's hangs today in the UfTizi Gallery in Florence, dates from about 1472, when Leonardo was of a theme 20. Nonetheless this youthful work, like the some of in music, sets forth first statement would the possibilities he later develop.

As I his said, The master happened to be painting latter colors, chagrined that a child should the master Jerome, c. 148 in his John baptizing Christ. For this Leonardo did an angel than the figures of Andrea. who it with Andrea del Verrocchio holding some garments; and, although quite young, he made St. " The story of who then abandons paint- surpassed by his pupil, and is an old chestnut in the history of art. But Vasari 's 27 may version something of what actually happened reflect at the time of the painting of the Baptism.

The angel's wings, for example, — but the painting contains elements that draperies are very similar to those he painted and among Leonardo's drawings there is an undoubted study for the sleeve of the angel who appears in work. Above this all, the treatment of flowers and trees surpasses mere decoration and creates a sense of brooding wonder; as Sir Kenneth Clark observes, ". . " In the feel the poetry and, as it which first, were, the closeness foreground the flowers are no perfunctorv, space-filling arrangement ot pretty little specimens, but a writhing, energy-filled mass that re-creates the vital, botanical world as it actually to that time only the youthful Leonardo had painted is, and as in Italy up it.

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