Virgin of the Rocks (National Gallery, London) c1495-1508

This painting was originally part of a large sculpted altarpiece, commissioned for the chapel of the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in the church of San Francesco, Milan. It is in all probability the painting provided to the Confraternity in 1508 as a replacement for the earlier version commissioned in 1483, now in the Louvre, Paris.

The figures are entirely consistent with Leonardo’s style during the mid 1490s in Milan. Areas of the flesh show the finger-print technique that is widely apparent in his works before 1500. Studio intervention has been identified in subsidiary parts of the picture, and two other paintings of music-making angels which were parts of the same altarpiece, painted by Leonardo’s assistants, are also in the National Gallery, London.

  • Medium Oil on wood panel
  • Size 189.5 x 120 cm
  • Location National Gallery

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