Benois Madonna (c. 1478) by Leonardo da Vinci

Benois Madonna - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1478

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Artwork Information

TitleBenois Madonna
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions33 x 49.5 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Location Created Milan, Italy

About Benois Madonna

The “Benois Madonna” is an exquisite religious painting attributed to the eminent artist Leonardo da Vinci, dating from around 1478. The artwork is executed in oil on canvas and exemplifies the Early Renaissance art movement. It measures 33 cm in height and 49.5 cm in width. Leonardo da Vinci created this piece during his time in Milan, Italy, and today, it is proudly displayed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The artwork features the Virgin Mary depicted with a tender and serene expression, engaging delicately with the Christ Child seated on her lap. The painting showcases the intimate relationship between mother and son; Mary holds a flower which the young Christ reaches for, symbolizing his future Passion. The harmonious use of color, delicate chiaroscuro, and the subtle gradation of tones reflect Leonardo’s masterful handling of the oil medium and his deep understanding of human anatomy and emotion. The intricate background partially reveals an arched window, opening to a distant view, but the central focus remains on the interaction between Mary and the child, enclosed within an ornate frame that further accentuates the sanctity of the scene. The Benois Madonna is a work that captures the essence of maternal love with divine grace, a quintessential example of Leonardo’s genius and the pious sentiments of the Early Renaissance period.

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