Leonardo da Vinci - illustraion for virtue and envy

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Dinesh said:

Although the allegorical sketches he made while serving Ludovico ostensibly portrays traits of others, a few seem to reveal Leonardo’s own inner turmoil. Most notable are the dozen or so drawing depicting Envy. “No sooner is Virtue born than Envy comes into the world to attack it,” he wrote on one of them. In his written description of Envy, he seems to have confronted her, in himself and in his competitors: “Rnvy should be represented with an obscene gesture of the hand towards heaven,” he wrote. “Victory and truth are odious to her. Many thunderbolts should be proceed from her to signify her evil speaking. Let her be lean and haggard because she is in perpetual torment. Made her heart gnawed by a swelling serpent.

Leonardo portrayed Envy along these lines in several allegorical drawings. He showed her as a wizened hag with sagging breasts on the back of a crawling skeleton accompanied by the explanation “Make her ride upon death, because Envy never dies.” . . . . Page 120

3 months ago