The designs replicate three masterpieces by da Vinci:
- The Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world;
- The iconic Vitruvian Man, which demonstrates the divine proportion (or golden mean); and
- The genius' only known Self-Portrait.
Da Vinci's signature and dates of birth and death are also included.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is the archetype of the Renaissance Man. During his life he did it all: architect, painter, sculptor, musician, draftsman, engineer, geometer, inventor, anatomist, physiologist, botanist and scientist. In short, he was a true genius.
Leonardo is justly famous for his realistic paintings, such as the Mona Lisa, the Madonna of the Rocks, and the Last Supper, as well as for influential drawings such as the Vitruvian Man.
The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is the famous 16th-century portrait by Leonardo da Vinci. Her mysterious smile has beguiled generations of viewers, but the true identity of this beauty remains unknown, despite intensive research by art historians. Many believe the Mona Lisa to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, hence its name in Italian, “La Gioconda”. Others have suggested the subject was a mistress of da Vinci, or even a self-portrait, with da Vinci imagining himself as a woman.
Leonardo's painting is famous among artist scholars for its innovative techniques, including sfumato (shown in the painting's distinctive hazy, soft-focus effect) and chiaroscuro (the complex interplay of light and shadow). Some believe that its French name “La Joconde” is a play on "the merry woman," a reference to her smile.
Vitruvian Man & Self Portrait
Da Vinci conceived of ideas vastly ahead of his time, notably inventing the helicopter, tank, calculator, a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics, the double hull, and others too numerous to mention. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime. Of his works, only a few paintings survive, together with his notebooks containing drawings, scientific diagrams and notes. Leonardo wrote all his notebooks in mirror-image script, so that others could not steal his ideas!
This coin has a total mintage of only 15,000, which is very low for such a reasonably-priced silver proof. Taking into account the large size, the ever-popular theme featuring a world-renowned artists and three major masterpieces, the superb colorization, the unusual shape, and the oveall beauty of the design, we feel that this is a great buy-and-hold for any numismatic portfolio.
The coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (in Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), is a small, landlocked country in western Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Its official language is Catalan, but both French and Spanish are commonly spoken by the approximately 70,000 residents. The capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.