Leonardo da Vinci 1452 – 1519
The Virgin of the Rocks
oil on panel (199 × 122 cm) — 1483-1486 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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John the Baptist kneels in adoration of the infant Jesus. Jesus makes a blessing gesture. Mary looks on. The fourth figure is an angel: archangel Gabriel, according to some. The scenery is a large rock formation.
Several years on, Leonardo would paint an almost identical panel, also almost two meters high. It is now in the London National Gallery.
This painting in the Louvre was probably commissioned by the confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in Milan. In 1483 the confraternity placed an order for a large altarpiece with Leonardo. In the beginning of the 19th century it was transferred from panel to canvas.
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