LEONARDO IN HIS YOUTH
I have been remiss in my activities on Trekearth lately. A few days ago our new book, Leonardos Universe, was released by National Geographic Books, and this curious post is meant as a present to art lovers. It was from Dr. David Alan Brown, the pre-eminent Curator of Renaissance Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, that I first heard about the uncanny resemblance of the model used by Andre del Verocchio for his statue of David and the portrait in profile of the elderly Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) produced by the great artists apprentice, Francesco Melzi.
We touched upon this story in our book, but neither I, nor our publisher, the National Geographic, which has long defined great photography, had on hand a closeup of Verrocchios statue in the Bargello Museum in Florence when the book went to press last August. Accordingly, this diptych was not included in the book. As the book was being printed (in China), however, I was briefly in Florence. And armed with permission from the Bargellos Director, I took a number of close-up portraits of the dark bronze statue, perched on a high pedestal. I held the camera at the top of a monopod extended to full length, and the camera set in self-timer mode. The bronze statue is thought to have been cast by Verrocchio (1435-1488) around 1469-1470, when Leonardo was 17-18. The drawing of Leonardo in his mature years was produced by Leonardos loyal assistant, the talented Milanese artist, Melzi (1491-1570), around 1510, when Leonardo would have been around 58, and Melzi only 17-18. The drawing is in the Queens Collection at Windsor Castle.
The similarities in the contour of the noses, in the upper and lower eye-lids, the cheeks, the lips... suggest Dr. Browns observation was right on the mark, that we have here Leonardos likeness forty-years apart. In an accompanying workshop the full-size statue of David can be seen, and in the background, the marble bust known as Lady with a Bouquet of Flowers, another work by Verrocchio. Verrocchio ran one of the most effective art studios, botegas, in Florence, and his apprentices, along with Leonardo, included Botticelli and Lorenzo de Credi. It also included Ghirlandaio, who in turn would train Leonardos rival, Michelangelo.
Regards in the New Year to all my Trekearth friends,
AROBN54, loves_summer, Buin, ChrisJ, ymrk, deermen, feather, papagolf21, marjan, parbo, carper, Wandering_Dan, stego, windosil, Gerrit, jhm, fulvio52, yedirenk, emjleclercq, trekks, gracious, belido, Dyerco, MLINES, AiresSantos, paura, terez93, Angshu, isabela_sor, bebbetto, Emile, BWJ, gunbud, kibele66, jafadabret has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
AROBN54 (11475) 2009-01-10 21:56
What an outstanding note, Batalay,
and the resemblance is uncanny. You got an extraordinarily good shot of that statue considering what you went through. Wonderful detail, good sharpness and the light and contrast is perfect. That, too, is incredible. My congratulations on such a fine shot! Many thanks and warmest regards,
loves_summer (1310) 2009-01-10 22:21
Interesting note and composite. It is amazing that even without photography, the details of a person's appearance are still apparent with accuracy.
Thanks for sharing!
Buin (42502) 2009-01-11 0:09
A very uncommon contribution here on TE - but an excellent and intersting one. This comparison truly is amazing - nearly breathtaking. Yes, the similarity is unmistakable ... a facinating contribution here!
Greetings from very cold Germany!
ChrisJ (117197) 2009-01-11 0:39
Good symmetry, between the young & old Leonardo. Perhaps I would drop the one at right down a little, so it matches the same horizontal level, as the one at left? Good colour & sharpness. Tfs!
ymrk (15085) 2009-01-11 1:39
Merhaba Sevgili Hocam;
Gerçekten çok boyutlu,farklı bir fotoğraf olmuş.Çok farklı hisler uyandırdı bende.Sanki biri gerçek,öbürü hayal...
Selamlar,saygılar ve sevgilerle
deermen (1938) 2009-01-11 1:45
merhaba Bülent bey,
fotoğrafınız bana ilham kaynağı oldu,
üzerinde çalıştığımız bir fotoğraf projesiyle ilgili :)
kompozisyon ve anlatım çok hoş tebrikler.
omerozden (1259) 2009-01-11 1:49
sizi yeni kitabınızdan ötürü kutlarım. notta belirttiğiniz benzerlikler fotoğrafta rahatlıkla gözlemlenebiliyor. fotoğrafınız da oldukça başarılı. notunuzla birlikte çok daha anlamlı oluyor.
feather (51130) 2009-01-11 3:54
Absorbing note Bulent. It's things like this that make history so fascinating. One also needs to be a good detective. It sounds like you went to a lot of trouble for this image and you have produced a worthy result. Congratulations on the publication of your new book.
mesutilgim (96718) 2009-01-11 4:48
Selam sevgili Bülent dost,
Muhteşem bir çalışma olmuş. Güzel bir kolaj ve mükemmel grafik etki.
Verdiğin güzel açıklamalarla da son derece zenginleşmiş bir TE katkısı.
Selam ve sevgiler
papagolf21 (106740) 2009-01-11 5:04
Bonjour, mon bon ami Bulent,
Excellente initiative de mettre côte à côte ces deux personnages mythiques.
Merci de nous faire profiter de tes entrées (eu égard à ta personnalité) pour nous permettre d'admirer des oeuvres extraordinaires.
Un pur plaisir pour les amateurs d'art.
Beaucoup de bonheur, de douceur et de sérénité pour la Nouvelle Année, ainsi que la réalisation des projets les plus chers !
amazon (12112) 2009-01-11 6:09
iki hafta once arkeoloji muzesinde buna benzer kadrajlar denedim,gerci benim ki kolaj degildi ama yapmak istedigim sey buna benzerdi...daha tam goz atma firsatim olmadi ama keske bu kadar basarili olabilseler....
jmcl (14535) 2009-01-11 8:23
Striking bit of detective work .. well worth it ... the result is obvious isn't it ... congratulations and good luck with the new book .. hope you and yours are well. very nice. take care, John
marjan (7) 2009-01-11 9:17
hi Bulent , on first look I did not recognise you on this photo stich, but in time of reading text I think that it is your stile and after that I saw that you are autor of this shot. statue had is not so sharp , I believe beacose of big increase if it. This shot make me thinking about it. I have one photo with more similar on it. I will sent it by mail.
parbo (11092) 2009-01-11 9:39
Hello Mr. Atalay,
Congratulations for your newly published book “Leonardo’s Universe” it's really an amazing study with your other book "Math and the Mona Lisa" too.
Your insert and workshop on the post truly shows a carefully processed, researched study and the result is really interesting. I'm impressed after reading your note. Congratulations.
PS. This the link of your book Leonardo’s Universe on The National Geographic Online Store.
carper (96) 2009-01-11 9:46
very pleasant shot Bulent,
a fine pov, good composition, very good note and a pleasure for trekearth. Thank you Bulent. have a nice day.
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2009-01-11 10:02
Merhaba, Bulent -
A good shot considering the limitations you were operating under. Leonardo looks to have been a handsome lad!
And congratulations on the book! I look forward to reading it.
stego (24132) 2009-01-11 13:47
I see that this wonder was shot just 3 days after we met in Barcelona.
The resemblance is apparent, but it wouldn't be so obvious if it wasn't for the PoV. All the trouble you went to get it was surely rewarding. I think we can be in the presence of an image that can do a bit of History. It and the insightful note could be the base for a documentary of the kind I see in TV, like History channel or Discovery Civilization. The shaprness isn't perfect, yet it's remarkably well considering the situation.
windosil (1158) 2009-01-11 14:38
These are just so beautiful, Bulent. Seeing them on the screen gives a brilliance that printed paper cannot match. I love the twinkle in his eye - never noticed it before. Quite apart from the way it shows the resemblance, this aspect of the statue gives a superb impression of 'David''s strength and satisfaction at what he has achieved. You should be very satisfied with what you have achieved here, too.
Best wishes for the next book!
Gerrit (52123) 2009-01-12 4:23
The same face, obviously, for all the nose.
Fine idea and performance.
jhm (157854) 2009-01-12 5:44
Hello friend Bulent,
As usual a perfectly note, always interest also when I three time have to again read.
The picture to the right is very nice.
Sharpness and clarity are superb. TFS.
fulvio52 (8314) 2009-01-12 11:42
Outstanding effort : precious history and good photography merging in one stunning package. I would say the similarity in facial features is unmistakable. Well seen, well presented, greatly informative note, TFS! Have a good day, my friend. I'll be seeing you.
yedirenk (11244) 2009-01-12 12:20
Merhaba Bülent hocam,
enfes bir kolaj ve çarpıcı bir anlatım.mekan İtalya ve de Floransa olunca etkisi,anlamı daha da artıyor.ellerinize sağlık.selamlar,saygılar
emjleclercq (15780) 2009-01-12 13:48
Very interesting note, and good assembly of the two pictures. The comparison of the two profiles clearly makes a good basis for such a theory.
All the best,
trekks (14348) 2009-01-12 23:15
Very interesting 40-year apart comparison and perhaps the nose has very good resemblance in the 2 images. I think this will make a good reading for NGM. Which issue is it coming up?
I am not sure whether he is already know at age 18 but I wonder why the statue is prepared for such age? You have given very useful notes and really helps a lot to read about the photo.
Greetings from Borneo.
gracious (20025) 2009-01-13 0:33
Thank you for such wonderful notes regarding this great man with the portrait from young to old!
you are right regarding the contour of the noses, eye-lids, cheeks and the lips, they really looks alike!
many thanks for the wonderful sharing
my warmest regards
Angshu (56760) 2009-01-13 1:39
Hello Professor 'A'
Very revealing & stunning similarity as you stated in your note. The full statue in the WS is a superb work & I was intrigued how you managed the closeup of the head on the left. And talking about similarity, we have the 'theory' of Mona Lisa & Leonardo as well! A very 'brainstorming' post & subject, which only you are capable of posting!
With Warmest Regards
belido (19934) 2009-01-13 3:09
nice to know your latest book was released! It must be an interesting read for sure. I also see some similarities in those two pictures. It's nice to check your posts after reading your book. It gives us more reference about this extraordinary artist-cientist-inventor. Very pertinent post, thanks for the informative note as well.
Dyerco (10185) 2009-01-13 9:27
What a fascinating comparison. They could be indeed be the same person. Good luck with your new book.
MLINES (12516) 2009-01-13 21:24
Hi Bulent, Your notes are always interesting and support the photos well. I especially like the colours annd flecks of gold in these images. I'm looking forward to visiting Vinci, in Tuscany after a mineral/ nanomaterials meeting in middle of this year at the Calanè Conference Centre, at a few kilometres from Castellaneta Marina . Something to look forward to, as it has been a long term dream to visit Italy. TFS. Murray.
AiresSantos (56155) 2009-01-13 23:36
Excellent note for this very interesting picture.
Very good contribution for TE. Well composed.
TFS and greetings
alvaraalto (19322) 2009-01-14 2:27
Congratulations with your new book. I enjoyed (as usual) the outstanding story you tell us in the extended info. The likeness is remarkable indeed.
paura (47186) 2009-01-14 5:24
A composição fotográfica, aí incluída os ajustes de iluminação e cores, está excelente. Beleza de trabalho, amigo.
terez93 (1280) 2009-01-14 10:43
Fascinating photo. Leonardo is one of my favorite people; there are so many aspects to his character and work that as the subjects he studied, there always seems to be more to learn. This is s great composition as well, and yes, I can see the resemblance!
keribar (43841) 2009-01-14 22:44
Hello my good friend Bulent,
Here is book cover, I can't think of a better graphic impact. Congratulations - It is very powerful - Izzet
BahadirLacin (341) 2009-01-15 6:44
Merhaba Bülent Bey.
Adana'da kitap fuarı var bu hafta, aldığım kitaplardan biri Rönesans'tan bugüne resim tarihi, diğeri ise Leonardo Da Vinci'nin yaşamıyla ilgili bir kitap. Çocukluğumdan beri hayran olduğum bir sanatçının portresini portfolyonuzda görmekle çok mutlu oldum. Amerika'ya en içten sevgi ve saygılarımı iletiyorum. Selamlarımla.
polpo56 (15136) 2009-01-15 14:52
this shot is a very interesting contribution on Te.
Precious history and good photography.
Nice note too.
My best compliments for your new book.
azaf1 (15929) 2009-01-17 2:29
A very interesting note on the comparison between the two of them. It is obvious that they resemble and very likely that it was himself that he depicted. The lengthy search and keen eye will always discover things that have gone unnoticed for a long time
Compliments and TFS
Cretense (68703) 2009-01-17 8:11
Hello, dear Bulent!
Great double "portrait" of the greatest scientist and artist all times, and a great passion of yours! As always, a very interesting note, a true lesson! I wish I could find your book in Greece, I would love to read it! Could I order it in Internet? I haven't order anything through Internet before, I have some kind of unexplained "fear" for this kind of process, but I would like to make a start with your book!
Didi (60590) 2009-01-26 17:36
Salam dear Friend
First time I see Leonardo face (Not di Caprio) in his youth.
You deserve to visit one day The Clos Lucé the last home of Leonardo givng by his friend King François Premier.
Very interesting subject.
Emile (20352) 2009-01-30 16:26
Very good comparison of the young and old Leonardo, amazing shot where we are able to see the impressive symmetry, very well captured. Your wonderful note is very good. TFS.
BWJ (3094) 2009-02-02 18:51
I believe Leonardo posed for Verocchio for his statue of "David." The profiles of the two faces are astonishingly the same. How interesting and exciting to make the comparison of the young and old Leonardo. Your presentation and note are superb!
gunbud (34066) 2009-02-06 8:55
Wonderful historic note to go along with the highly detailed sculpture of the young Leonardo which bears a striking resemblance to the old drawing.
It looks like he aged well.
kibele66 (3087) 2009-02-11 0:08
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
First of all I want to share my heartfelt congratulations.
I recently read on newspapers about the release of your new book and you'll make a tour for the presentation of the "Leonardo's Universe". Wish to see you in Turkey too.
Izzet Bey is very accurate about the photo can be a great cover, but for your next book perhaps:))
Thanks for bringing the fresh breath of art to our routine everyday lives.
selam ve sevgiler
jafadabret (56501) 2009-02-13 2:31
Merci pour ce rapprochement des deux portraits et pour la longue note explicative. Le portrait du David est une bonne photo faite dans des conditions difficiles. J'aime le rendu du modelé de ce visage.
kristina (250) 2009-03-08 1:23
I'm here again! Thank You for your new year letter! I haven't got a time to write the full answer, because this year is strted really fast:)
Have You received my new year postcard?
This is a terrific photograph: the portrait of Leonardo, the skulprture of Leonardo and the portrait of You - The Man of of Renaissance! Absolutely!
I borrow the book Leonardos Universe on amazon and can't waiting - but soon!....:))))
Best wishes, Kris
CLODO (35352) 2009-12-04 1:00
I just bought your book about Math and the Mona Lisa, and I would like you to send me a mail with an attached sheet with some words to Alex, my son in law, to whom I intend to give the book for Xmas present.
Nice double capture.
Urs (14082) 2010-05-16 6:25
Excellent composition to show one of the master's famous statures vs his portrait. Fine sharpness and color hues. Moreover as usual outstanding note. Well done
Thanks for your critique of my Penang Road shot. At the moment we stay put in Alor Star. We could go to Bangkok, but there are a number of places which are in the civil war zone, so we better wait till the situation improves. As the government has declared this Monday and Tuesday to public holidays, the crackdown on the red shirt is imminent. It is necessary, they have blocked the city center for more then 7 weeks, that's enough. When ever they negotiated for a truce, they always went back on their word. So who should trust them?
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (39911)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-08-06
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D200, 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED AF Zoom Nikkor
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2009-01-10 21:40
- Favorites: 1 [view]