Fig. 65

Virgin of the Rocks (second version, London)

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Dinesh said:


Virgin of the Rocks

Soon after Leonardo began working with the de Predis brothers they jointly given a commission by the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, a worship group of rich laymen, to paint altarpieces for the Franciscan church that it used. To Leonardo fell the task of painting the central frame, and his instructions were explicit: it was to feature Virgin Mary ( “her skirt shall be gold brocade over crimson, in oil, varnished with fine lacquer” ) and baby Jesus surrounded by “angles done in oil to complete perfection, with the two Prophets.” Ignoring these instruction, he decided to paint the Virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, a young John the Baptist, one angel, and no prophets.. . . . ~ Page 224

Leonardo ended up producing two similar versions of the painting, which became known as the Virgin of the Rocks. Reams of Scholarship have been produced debating the timing in and backstories of these paintings. The most convincing narrative, I believe, is that the first version, done in the 1480, led to a price dispute with the confraternity and was sold or sent elsewhere; it is now in the Louvre. Leonardo then helped to paint a replacement version, in collaboration with Ambvrogio de Predis and his studio, completed sometime around 1508; it was one now in the National Gallery of London (fig. 65) ~ page 224

3 months ago