Friday, August 10, 2007

Of the Moment

The Madonna of the Rocks, 1483-86 by Leonardo da Vinci, Louvre Museum, Paris.

Leonardo created two almost identical versions of the same scene of the Virgin with the angel Uriel, John the Baptist and the Christ child. The first work was commissioned by an organization and when they did not pay right away it was purchased by an individual, finally the group gathered the money and another version was made for them.

Discussion about the Da Vinci Code


jmchez said...

A good example of why I like this blog so much. This is an interestiing fact that I did not know, even with my many books on art.

Ali said...

I'd forgotten about these. Very similar poses, but I always found them very different otherwise, and prefer the earlier version with its warmer colors. It makes me wonder if he had just memory to work from on the second, or if he had access to the first when making the second.

Teresa said...

I, too, prefer the earlier version. Makes me wonder if he was working on contrast in the second. There are deeper and more contrasting shadows and a lack of color compared to the first. Also noticed the differences in the anatomy, especially of the children. Of course, it could have just been he was bored and wanted to hurry and throw it together.

Anonymous said...

The original painting called Madonna on the Rocks was in fact painted for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, in the church of San Francesco Grande.
There were two brothers(Ambrogio and Evangelista De Predis) that were commissioned to paint two lateral paintings for the alter with Da Vinci's in the middle as the main peice.
When the monks saw Da Vinci's completed work whey were deeply confused and unpleased.
Documentary evidence that has been found that relates to a court case between the Franciscan monks and the three painters.
Leonardo consign the picture late, but it was totally different to what the clerics expected.
We can conjecture that, when Leonardo presented his first painting, the monks were initially puzzled by the cave location (in contrast with the usual throne or architectural setting). They were even more mystified by the tangle of psychological inter-relations, with Mary’s right hand on the infant John the Baptist’s back, her left hand lifted over Jesus’ head, and the angels outstretched hand pointing to John. They were dismayed to find that it was difficult to distinguish which was John and which Jesus. Then, on closer perusal, they were horror-struck to find that the angel did not have the usual human form, but the body of an animal, and a most unhuman foot. His wings are only lightly suggested.

This is why they made Da Vinci paint another work of art and the original was sold to Louis XII, king of France.


ensure said...

nice blog the
picture is very beautiful

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