Virgin of the Rocks By Leonardo da Vinci. A masterpiece of Christian art it is regarded as one of the Greatest Paintings Ever. Painting : Virgin of the Rocks Date : c.
Leonardo da Vinci always impressed on his students the importance of depicting nature accurately. Five centuries on, scientists and art historians are trying to work out to what extent Leonardo had a hand in both versions of Virgin of the Rocks — the one in the Louvre, in Paris, and the replica in the National Gallery in London. Doubts have long been cast over whether the Renaissance master made the London painting.
It seems strange that in The Virgin of the Rocks we see two complete versions of a subject from an artist who failed to finish so many of his commissions. Both paintings are oil on panel but the Louvre version has been transferred to canvas. The painting may have suffered some damage during the transfer process but its condition is now stable.
It is actually the name of two paintings by Da Vinci, which have the same composition, apart from a few significant variations. One of the two paintings is considered to be the prime version, which hangs in the gallery of The Louvre in Paris. The second painting is housed in the National Gallery, London.
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In April ofthe Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception commissioned Leonardo to paint the Virgin of the Rocks as part of an altarpiece for its chapel in the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan. The painting was done on a wooden panel which was meant to be placed within a larger sculpted altarpiece for the chapel. Oil paints were used for the pigments.
All kneel to adore the infant Christ, who in turn raises his hand to bless them. They are crowded in a grotto overhung with rocks and dense with vegetation. The painting was part of a large, elaborate altarpiece made for the church of San Francesco Grande, Milan to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
The Virgin of the Rocks sometimes The Madonna of the Rocks is the name used for two Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for two significant details. Both paintings show the Madonna and Christ Child with the infant John the Baptist and an angel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual name. The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel.