Water is Leonardo's speciality
Coming up the stairs to visit painting after sculpture is a very different experience. Sculpture somehow lives through the mythology and is life size or in relation to human form, in the round. As autumn leaves fall and the visual images of painting only describe a conceived idea, the imagination. Going from the presence of something into a fantasy, I once again imagine physical trees to grow inside the museum of the Louvre, you walk on wood amongst the paintings and grow with the paintings. Your memory and imagination settle on an also very realistic description of figures, religious themes, mythology and themes of war. Rippling with the water of deluges and not the flood with Leonardo, the surface of the painting is something Leonardo worked on and two dimensions rather than three. Thinking then of the Leonardo painting of "The Virgin of the Rocks", the two figures of the Christ Child and St. John are worked on more than the the rest of the painting so they are far more on the surface of the painting. The way the figures of Christ and St. John are painted gives the two children like most of the babies in Leonardo's painting an almost overworked quality or as though either Leonardo or someone else has painted them. You do notice in a lot of Renaissance, paintings of the Christ Child, the babies are awkward and ugly and are perhaps hard to paint. Maybe finding live models of women with babies was hard to find. The children in Leonardo painting however, although they are more successful, the shadows are strange and overly expressive. One could imagine the use of drawings meant artists drew from artist's work, or simply imagined. Trees and leaves fall in the forest of imaginings, the very pillars of strength. However, nature is something realistic in Leonardo's work. Water is Leonardo's speciality.