Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
Oil on canvas; 49.5 x 33 cm
This painting is one of the few surviving works by the young Leonardo. He presents the traditional subject as a genre scene, in which a young mother, shown with the dress and hairstyle fashionable in Leonardo's time, is playing with her son. She holds out a four-petalled flower to her child. This traditional symbol of the Cross is taken by the Child as an innocent toy, which he seeks to grasp in his first attempts to know the world. The warmth and charm of the mother's feelings are represented with realistic expressiveness and the painting has a sense of freshness and spontaneity. The use of the oil painting technique - still new in Italy - enabled the artist to achieve depth and intensity of colouring and transparency in the effects of light and shade.
This work came from the M.A. Benois collection.
All rights reserved. Image Usage Policy.
About the Site