Thursday, January 25, 2018

"Detail from Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks" (oil on stretched linen; 10" x 8")

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The painting is the copy of a detail from "The Virgin of the Rocks" (before 1508) by the Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. The original hangs in the National Gallery in London. My painting shows the Archangel Uriel.

Leonardo da Vinci, "The Virgin of the Rocks" (London version)

The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the name used for two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for several significant details. The version generally considered the prime version, that is the earlier of the two, hangs in The Louvre in Paris and the other in the National Gallery, London. The paintings are both nearly 2 metres (over 6 feet) high and are painted in oils.

Both paintings show the Madonna and Child Jesus with the infant John the Baptist and the Archangel Uriel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual name. The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel.

I chose the London version for my week 3 exercise of the Let's Face It workshop", because I like its angel better and, more importantly, I have seen the huge painting in person. Several years ago, I sat in front of it for a long time, mesmerized and utterly enchanted. Here I am, copying Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful angel!

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