Monday, January 16, 2012

The Virgin of the Rocks - Painting by Ambrogio da Predis with Leonardo da Vinci

The Virgin of the Rocks - Painting by Leonardo da Vinci

In the National Gallery. No. 1093. 6 ft. ½ in. h. by 3 ft 9 ½ in. w. (1.83 x 1.15)
This picture was painted in Milan about 1495 by Ambrogio da Predis under the supervision and guidance of Leonardo da Vinci, the essential features of the composition being borrowed from the earlier "Vierge aux Rochers," now in the Louvre.

The "Virgin of the Rocks", now in the National Gallery, corresponds exactly with a painting by Leonardo which was described by Lomazzo about 1584 as being in the Chapel of the Conception in the Church of St. Francesco at Milan. This picture, the only _oeuvre_ in this gallery with which Leonardo's name can be connected, was brought to England in 1777 by Gavin Hamilton, and sold by him to the Marquess of Lansdowne, who subsequently exchanged it for another picture in the Collection of the Earl of Suffolk at Charlton Park, Wiltshire, from whom it was eventually purchased by the National Gallery for £9000. Signor Emilio Motta, some fifteen years ago, unearthed in the State Archives of Milan a letter or memorial from Giovanni Ambrogio da Predis and Leonardo da Vinci to the Duke of Milan, praying him to intervene in a dispute, which had arisen between the petitioners and the Brotherhood of the Conception, with regard to the valuation of certain works of art furnished for the chapel of the Brotherhood in the church of St. Francesco. The only logical deduction which can be drawn from documentary evidence is that the "Vierge aux Rochers" in the Louvre is the picture, painted about 1482, which between 1491 and 1494 gave rise to the dispute, and that, when it was ultimately sold by the artists for the full price asked to some unknown buyer, the National Gallery version was executed for a smaller price mainly by Ambrogio da Predisunder the supervision, and with the help, of Leonardo to be placed in the Chapel of the Conception.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...