Madonna Litta (c. 1490-91) by Leonardo da Vinci

Madonna Litta - Leonardo da Vinci - c. 1490-91

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna Litta
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec. 1490-91
MediumTempera on Canvas, transferred from panel
Dimensions16 1/2 x 13 in. (42 x 33 cm)
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Madonna Litta

Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna Litta is a painting of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the Christ child. The figures are depicted in a dark interior with two arched openings, and the painting itself is believed to have been created around 1490-91. This work of art has several noteworthy elements, including the goldfinch held by Jesus as a symbol of his impending Passion and Mary’s blue mantle representing the Church while her red dress symbolizes Christ’s passion.

There have also been debates amongst scholars about whether Leonardo da Vinci collaborated with one of his pupils on this piece or if it was solely his work. One possible pupil who could have contributed to this work is Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, who worked in Leonardo’s workshop for many years.

What makes Madonna Litta stand out from other paintings of its time is how delicately it captures maternal love between mother and child. There is no doubt that this painting has inspired generations since its creation almost 600 years ago – not just for religious reasons but also through its artistic mastery that showcases an enduring mood, grace, and fluidity unrivaled in paintings today.

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