Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci

Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci
The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci
Chiaroscuro trade paperback cover
Publication information
Publisher Vertigo
Format Limited series
Publication date 1995-1996
Number of issues 10
Main character(s) Leonardo da Vinci, Salai
Creative team
Writer(s) Pat McGreal & David Rawson
Penciller(s) Chaz Truog
Inker(s) Rafael Kayanan
Colorist(s) Carla Feeny & Lovern Kindziersky
Collected editions
Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci ISBN 1-4012-0498-8

Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci is a Vertigo comic book limited series published from 1995 to 1996, which was later repackaged in 2005 as a single volume. The series was written by Pat McGreal and David Rawson and illustrated by Chaz Truog and Rafael Kayanan. The original series covers were done by Stephen John Philips and Richard Bruning.[1]



A work of historical fiction, Chiaroscuro narrates the life of Leonardo da Vinci from the point of view of Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno (almost exclusively called Salai in the story), a beautiful young man Leonardo adopted as a boy. It shows the influence of their relationship on Leonardo's life and work. In characterizing Salai as scheming, ambitious and selfish, the novel posits that several events in Leonardos's life occurred at least partly because of his manipulations.

The work also speculates a possible homosexual relationship between Leonardo and Salai. Salai is clearly depicted to have had homosexual relations with Leonardo's main rival, Michelangelo and Ludovico Sforza's captain, Sanseverino, while anything occurring between him and Leonardo is simply implied. It is clear, however, that Leonardo used him as a model for his artwork. The relationship between Salai and Leonardo is often tumultuous, culminating with Salai betraying Leonardo by serving as the model for Michelangelo's David.[1][2]

Chiaroscuro is an art term meaning the play of light and dark in a work.


Works of art

The following works by da Vinci were also depicted in the story:

Publication history

Chiarocuro was originally published in serial form from 1995 to 1996 before being collected as a trade paperback in 2005. It was nominated for the Eisner Award in 1996 for Best Limited Series.[3]

Collected editions


  1. ^ a b Irvine, Alex (2008), "Chiaroscuro", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 45, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  2. ^ Mc Greal & Rawson, 2005
  3. ^ a b Chiaroscuro


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chiaroscuro (disambiguation) — Chiaroscuro, meaning light dark in Italian, is the use of contrast between light and dark in art. Chiaroscuro may also refer to: In comics Chiaroscuro (comics), various comics, including: Chiaroscuro (2000 AD), a 2000 AD horror comic series… …   Wikipedia

  • Chiaroscuro (comics) — Chiaroscuro, in comics, may refer to: Chiaroscuro (2000 AD), a 2000 AD horror comic series. Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci, a 1995 1996/2005 Vertigo comic book. Chiaroscuro (IDW Publishing), a 2000 2005/2007 series by… …   Wikipedia

  • Thematic development of Italian Renaissance painting — This article about the development of themes in Italian Renaissance painting is an extension to the article Italian Renaissance painting, for which it provides additional pictures with commentary. The works encompassed are from Giotto in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Italian Renaissance — The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 14th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and… …   Wikipedia

  • Albrecht Dürer — The title of this article contains the character ü. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Albrecht Duerer. Albrecht Dürer Self Portrait (1500) by Albrecht Dürer …   Wikipedia

  • Western painting — The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from Antiquity. [Art of the Western World: From Ancient Greece to Post Modernism (Paperback)by Bruce Cole, Simon and Shuster, 1981,… …   Wikipedia

  • painting, Western — ▪ art Introduction       history of Western painting from its beginnings in prehistoric times to the present.       Painting, the execution of forms and shapes on a surface by means of pigment (but see also drawing for discussion of depictions in …   Universalium

  • Renaissance painting — bridges the period of European art history between the art of the Middle Ages and Baroque art. Painting of this era is connected to the rebirth ( renaissance in French) of classical antiquity, the impact of humanism on artists and their patrons,… …   Wikipedia

  • Caravaggio — For other uses, see Caravaggio (disambiguation). Caravaggio Chalk portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, c. 1621. Birth name Michelangelo Merisi …   Wikipedia

  • Art in Roman Catholicism — Roman Catholic art consists of all visual works produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This includes sculpture, painting, mosaics, metalwork, embroidery and even… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”