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Prints, Drawings, and MiniaturesSculptureApplied ArtPainting









Madonna and Child (Madonna Litta)

Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

Tempera on canvas (transferred from panel) 42 x 33 cm

This Madonna and Child was probably painted in Milan, where the artist moved in 1482.

The Madonna's sublime, tender gaze as she looks at her son, and the tranquillity of the distant mountainous landscape, reflect humanist dreams of Ideal Man and a Harmonious Life. At once profound and noble, the painting reveals great beauty in its colouring and composition. The painting came to the museum in 1865 from the collection of Count Antonio Litta in Milan. A preparatory drawing for the Madonna's head is in the Louvre, Paris.

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