The Instigator
jbeh
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Babeslayer
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Leonardo Da Vinci was the best artist in the history.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2013 Category: Arts
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,102 times Debate No: 33870
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

jbeh

Pro

First round for acceptance.
Babeslayer

Con

Da Vinci was great, no, amazing. One of the greatest artists of all-time. But I wouldn't say hes the best. Artist means creator of art, so that means all art. Directors, painters, sculpters, inventors, composers, choreographers. These are all aritists in their respective field.

To say he's the best painter of all-time is far-fetched enough. His paintings are great, but they're too real-looking. I know it might be off-putting to say a painting looking real would mean less creative skill, but just think about it. The fact that you can't create an image you have to base it on something in the world is less creative than Van Gogh's art. I can accept he's the best inventor just short of the guy who created Reese's, but I won't accept best painter and thus I won't accept best artist.
Debate Round No. 1
jbeh

Pro

A short biography:
Leonardo da Vinci was regarded as an astonishing virtuoso, even by his contemporaries of the time. Born in 1452 he was at work long before Michelangelo and Raphael who are considered to be the two other great masters of High Renaissance Art.

Little is known about his early life, da Vinci simply means, of the town of Vinci, a town in the territory of Florence.

He was actually born at Anchiano, a village close to Vinci, the son of Ser Piero and a peasant girl Caterina.

The legend of Leonardo's physical beauty has been chronicled by Vasari, and since there is no description or portrait of him, we assume that Vasari's writings are based on fact.

His schooling was basic and followed the traditional educational teachings of the time. This lack of higher education was apparent in his struggle to understand Latin. Many classical documents were written in Latin, and it was with a source frustration that he had to resort to reading translations of scientific subjects rather than the original papers.

Leonardo was a vegetarian who loved animals and by 1469 he was living with his father on the Piaszza San Firenze in Florence.

His early apprentership began at the age of fourteen, in the workshop of painter and sculptor Verrocchio. Verrocchio was one of the most renowned artists of his day and other painters with conections to his workshop include Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, however Leonardo Da Vinci is the artist who is mostly associated with Verrocchio.

Source/s:

http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com...
Babeslayer

Con

... Why? Why so much background information? The fact that he was Italian is very well-known, but doesn't serve this debate. His family history, early life, and really anything that has nothing to do with the art itself doesn't matter. You're just showing me a short biography of Da Vinci and using that as an argument, but that's not an argument. This kind of stuff doesn't matter for any other artist. The fact that Van Gogh cut his ear off isn't what makes "Starry Night" a great painting.

You even go so far as to point out he was vegetarian. Why? That doesn't matter, we're not discussing... I don't even know where that information would be of use.Your logic makes no sense, someone having an interesting life doesn't make them a great artist.
Debate Round No. 2
jbeh

Pro

Despite the recent awareness and admiration of Leonardo as a scientist and inventor, for the better part of four hundred years his fame rested on his achievements as a painter and on a handful of works, either authenticated or attributed to him that have been regarded as among the masterpieces.

These paintings are famous for a variety of qualities which have been much imitated by students and discussed at great length by connoisseurs and critics. Among the qualities that make Leonardo's work unique are the innovative techniques that he used in laying on the paint, his detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, botany and geology, his interest in physiognomy and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, his innovative use of the human form in figurative composition, and his use of the subtle gradation of tone. All these qualities come together in his most famous painted works, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the Virgin of the Rocks.
Babeslayer

Con

While the Mona Lisa is incredibly unique and very much talked about, it's the only one that gets my attention. Every other renaissance painter was making religious paintings, most of them as good if not better than the last supper & virgin of the rocks. And although an attention to detail is important, it shows signs of uncreativity. Artists like Pablo Picasso and Van Gogh weren't bound by these rules, the just created. The didn't need to fixate on every detail, they didn't need to make it look real. They're better painters than Da Vinci because they didn't need to make everything look real, their paintings were amazing anyway! Picasso didn't look at the real world for inspirartion, he just took a brush and painted.

And also, just because he payed attention to detail doesn't make him a better painter overall. It makes him better at detailing. That's not what art should be about, it should be about thinking outside the box, creating new worlds, new imagery, new ways of looking at life. Da Vinci could only see the world through everyone elses eyes, but Van Gogh saw the world in his own eyes.
Debate Round No. 3
jbeh

Pro

The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda or La Joconde) is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world."

The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Mus"e du Louvre in Paris since 1797. The ambiguity of the subject's expression, which is frequently described as enigmatic, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms and the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.
Babeslayer

Con

If you can use popularity as a sign of quality, then Justin Beiber is today's mozart. All the arguements you used can be used for other forms of art. "Star wars is the most well-known, most seen, and (easily) most parodied film. Thus, it's the greatest film of all time and George Lucas is the best director ever." It isn't and he's not. but you get my point.

And oh my goodness, here you go again. Look, I accepted hoping for a sophisticated debate. Is it so much to ask that you actually argue your opinion instead of state facts?! Unless this is always how you argue.

Person: "The Godfather was ok."
you: "Actually, The Godfather was directed by Francis Ford Coppela and was reviewed by multiple critics. It was shown in multiple movie theaters and stars Marlon Brando."

(Note: I actually love the godfather it's just an example.)

The point of debating is to state your own opinion, not to state facts you read. This furthers my other point, that Da Vinci was uncreative. Fans of Da Vinci will go only to cold hard facts and won't try to express themselves, while fans of Van Gogh and Picasso will fully state their opinion and argue for it. Coincidence? I think not.
Debate Round No. 4
jbeh

Pro

Picasso and Van Gogh didn't really create anything FOR the world, well Da Vinci did. He express all his feeling and passion from all of his art works. If he didn't exist in the world, neither would most of the things that did exist in the world.
Babeslayer

Con

Da Vinci made some inventions, yes. Without those inventions we would be severely behind technilogically, I know that. But inventing stuff doesn't make him a great artist. The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper didn't do anything for the world either. They're paintings. I know a lot of people see Da Vinci as an influential artist, and I agree. But I don't think he is the best artist of all-time.

Leonardo Da Vinci made art a loooooong time ago. Back when art was realistic images, that were, I hate to say it, easy to interpret. Nowadays, art is multi-interpretable I could go to a modern art gallery and find a more creative artist than Leonardo Da Vinci. Someone who can look at anything -Literally anything- and see an art in it. They can take their art and put it on a canvas, it doesn't matter what it is. Da Vinci and all the other people in the renaissance used their form of art, it was the latest thing.

And fyi, Mona Lisa not having eybrows wasn't an artistic choice, and it doesn't represent anything. Women shaving eyebrows was a fashion during the renassance, so Lisa Gherardini didn't have any.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by PlethorA 4 years ago
PlethorA
Question, how can you begin to say that one subjective assertion has more truth than another...?
I don't see any objective analysis of art work let alone what criteria determines which is better.
Posted by Babeslayer 4 years ago
Babeslayer
I already explained that there are other artists who do works in other art forms, better at their craft than da vinci was at painting. (Example: Stanley Kubrick was the best director of all-time, but Hemingway is a better writer than Kubrick is a director.) Kind of hard to explain, but I hope you get the point.
Posted by CornCob 4 years ago
CornCob
why is it being changed from Leonardo Da Vinci was the best artist in the history
to the greatest painter in history?

Are painters the only artists? For my money con did a decent job of arguing da vinci wasn't the greatest painter but didn't touch the debate topic, da vinci the best artist in history.
Posted by Bullish 4 years ago
Bullish
Should say "In the West". I hate it when people generalize the West into the rest of the world.
Posted by Lexicaholic 4 years ago
Lexicaholic
Okay, I've thought about this a lot. After some research, soul-searching and with a desire not to engage in a pointless debate, I have decided to decline this challenge. Declining challenges is something I don't often do - I can usually think up at least a devil's advocate position. However - this is a foregone conclusion. Because the first round is for acceptance only, and because I am Con, you would have to leave an opening far too large to be expected. In addition, I agree. Leonardo Da Vinci was the greatest artist in history; not for his artwork (he didn't produce much) but for his observations and contributions to the 'science' of art. We could argue this - I could make a half-hearted attempt at mocking his productivity.

But I never would. Good luck finding a challenger. And good luck to such challenger. S/he will need it.
Posted by Lexicaholic 4 years ago
Lexicaholic
But ... but Da Vinci is my favorite artist ... how could I not pick him? Let me think about this one a bit before accepting. I take this a bit more seriously than philosophical musings on the nature of the divine. :)
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