Teaching Students About Da Vinci’s Paintings

As one of the most influential artists in history, Leonardo da Vinci has left behind a treasure trove of paintings that continue to captivate and inspire people across the world. For educators looking to provide their students with a unique and enlightening art experience, teaching them about da Vinci’s paintings can be an excellent place to start.

There are a wide variety of da Vinci paintings that educators can choose from depending on the age, skill level, and interests of their students. Some of the most well-known pieces include the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and The Vitruvian Man. Each of these paintings offers a wealth of opportunities for students to learn more about da Vinci’s techniques, style, and message.

What Makes Da Vinci Paintings So Special?

One of the most remarkable things about da Vinci’s paintings is the precision and detail he was able to achieve. He was known for using a technique called sfumato, which involved blending colours to create soft and subtle transitions that gave his paintings a realistic and luminous quality.

Another aspect that makes da Vinci’s work stand out is the symbolism and meaning behind each painting. For example, in The Last Supper, da Vinci uses his painting skills to depict not only the physical setting of the Last Supper but also the emotions and interactions between the disciples. By studying these paintings, students can learn about the deep symbolism and historical context behind each portrayal and how that impacted the audience at the time.

How to Teach Da Vinci’s Paintings to Students

When introducing da Vinci paintings to students, it’s essential to provide context and background information about both the artist and the specific artwork. A good place to start is by giving an overview of da Vinci’s accomplishments and the historical significance of the Renaissance period.

Once students have a basic understanding of the period and the artist, teachers can delve deeper into the specific painting and discuss its composition, techniques, and style. It’s beneficial to provide age-appropriate context beyond just the basic techniques and symbolism in the painting and discuss how it impacted art in general and popular culture at the time.

One fun way to engage students while teaching about da Vinci’s paintings is an art project. Teachers can assign a project that has students create their interpretations of da Vinci’s works or even try to recreate them using similar techniques.


Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings are icons of art history and remain a revered and treasured part of the artistic landscape. They can also be an incredibly valuable tool for educators looking to engage students in art history and provide them with a deeper understanding of technique, style, and symbolism. By teaching students about da Vinci’s paintings, teachers can inspire a lifelong appreciation and love of art in their students.

Choose your Reaction!