Autoportrait, Leonardo da Vinci

During this 3 hour workshop, we will focus on Leonardo da Vinci’s work as Painter and Inventor.

After an introduction to one of the greatest erudite’s of all times, children will have the choice :

  • to experiment with portraiture and related techniques and paint their own version of the famous Mona Lisa, or
  • to build a 3D version of his flying machine using recycling and up-cycling techniques.

Indeed, Leonardo da Vinci(15th April 1452–2nd May 1519) wasn’t only a genial Painter and Sculptor,  but also an accomplished scholar : a Writer, Mathematician, Architect, Inventor, Military Engineer and Draftsman.

He can be considered the epitome of a “Renaissance” man and was a leading scholar of the Italian Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci, the Painter

He was not a prolific painter, because of the wide scope of his interests. In addition to the “Mona Lisa”, his most famous works include the “Vitruvian Man” and “The Last Supper”.

The ‘Vitruvian Man’ is a sketch drawn in 1490 that depicts a study of male human proportions, set inside both a square and a circle. With this work, Leonardo attempts to relate man to nature.

To more accurately depict gestures and movements, da Vinci began to study anatomy seriously and dissect human and animal bodies  in the 1480s). His drawings of a fetus in utero, the heart and vascular system, sex organs and other bone and muscular structures are some of the first we know of.

Painting Techniques

Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his pioneering use of two painting techniques:

  • Chiaroscuro: a stark contrast between darkness and light that gave a three-dimensionality to da Vinci’s figures.
  • Sfumato: a technique in which subtle gradations, rather than strict borders, infuse paintings with a softer, smoky aura.

His painting “Virgin of the Rocks,” begun in 1483, is a classic example of both of these techniques.

The  ‘Mona Lisa’

The Mona Lisa is one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous painting— and arguably the most famous painting in the world. This painting was privately commissioned and mystery surrounds the identity of the subject.

It is likely – but not certain – that it is a portrait of  Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy Florentine silk merchant. Some art historians believe the merchant commissioned the portrait to celebrate the pending birth of the couple’s next child. However, if the Giocondo family did indeed commission the painting, Leonardo da Vinci never delivered it.  He considered it a work in progress. It was his attempt at perfection. He never parted with the painting. Today, the “Mona Lisa” hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. This particular work of art draws millions of visitors each year.

Leonardo da Vinci, the Inventor

Leonardo da Vinci made  sketches of machines resembling a bicycle and a helicopter. Perhaps his most well-known “invention” is a “flying machine,” which is based on the physiology of a bat.

He also studied botany, geology, zoology, hydraulics, aeronautics and physics. He sketched his observations and placed the papers in notebooks and arranged them around four broad themes—painting, architecture, mechanics and human anatomy. He filled dozens of notebooks with finely drawn illustrations and scientific observations. His ideas were mainly theoretical explanations, laid out in exacting detail, but they were rarely experimental.

For centuries after his death, thousands of pages from his private journals with notes, drawings, observations and scientific theories have surfaced and provided a fuller measure of a true “Renaissance man.”

Practical information

Date: Saturday 7th October 2017

Time: 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm

Ages: This workshop is recommended for children from 6 to 13 years old.

Location: Atelier du Square, rue François Bonivard 4, 1201 Geneva. Click here to see map.

Fee for one afternoon: CHF 65.- per child, materials and snack included, for the whole week.

Enrollment: Please download the enrollment sheet here:  Leonardo da Vinci Inscription FR
Complete it and scan or take a picture of it and return to Payments are due on signature of the enrollment sheet.

Information: Eurydice Labaki,, +41 (0) 78 696 12 45