Leonardo Da Vinci's La Scapigliata, meaning 'the dishevelled' and painted in the first decade of the sixteenth century, is a sketch full of impact and elegance – as moving as it is natural. Da Vinci, known to many as the figurehead of the Italian Renaissance, was a polymath capable of contributing to the fields of mathematics, biology, anatomy, physics, engineering, and architecture. One of the most lauded artists in the history of Western art, Da Vinci was both a mirror and an engine for the new ideas and beliefs that emerged during the Renaissance. La Scapigliata, often also referred to simply as Female Head, is a powerful and stark reproduction of the natural beauty of a young woman. Resonating with warmth and respect, the sketch is no distant contemplative eye hovering over a female subject. The piece is either a study of the model's face or a preliminary sketch of the Madonna. Either way, Da Vinci's depiction of the woman with dishevelled hair was an extension of the new ways artists were portraying female subjects which would prefigure a change in the way women were viewed in society.
In La Scapigliata Da Vinci suggests, through gentle shading and soft, confident lines, that women possess an inherent beauty – beauty which he encourages the viewer to appreciate. The unkempt hair signals a wild power, a symbol of self-possession, that could not always be tamed by society or style. This emotional reproduction from life predicts the political and psychological world of late-nineteenth, and twentieth century feminism in its groundbreaking depiction of an uncontrolled, liberated, and truly feminine charisma. In La Scapigliata Da Vinci achieves a symbol of beauty and serenity, not a figure of contemplation but a figure that exists in her own right and for her own sake.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
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