Madonna Litta (Madonna and the Child) (c.1490; Italy) by Leonardo da Vinci

Madonna Litta (Madonna and the Child) - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1490; Italy

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Artwork Information

TitleMadonna Litta (Madonna and the Child)
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec.1490; Italy
Dimensions33 x 42 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Madonna Litta (Madonna and the Child)

The artwork titled “Madonna Litta (Madonna and the Child)” is attributed to the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci and is believed to have been created around the year 1490 in Italy. Executed on canvas with the use of tempera, this piece represents the High Renaissance art movement. The artwork measures 42 centimeters in width and 33 centimeters in height. As a religious painting, it carries significant devotional value. Currently, the “Madonna Litta” resides in the Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The painting depicts the Virgin Mary in a three-quarter profile, gently holding the Christ Child in her arms. The Child, seen in a naturalistic and tender posture, is breastfeeding, reflecting themes of maternity and divine nurturing. The Virgin Mary is adorned in traditional Renaissance garments, with a vibrant red dress and a blue cloak that drapes over her, signifying her purity and celestial nature. The serene expressions on both of their faces convey a sense of peace and sacredness.

In the background, through two arched windows, a tranquil landscape unfolds, featuring clear skies and distant mountains, reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside that Leonardo held dear. The delicate sfumato technique used to blend colors and transitions is evident, contributing to the serene and harmonious atmosphere. The interplay of light and shadow on the figures emphasizes their three-dimensional form, a hallmark of Leonardo’s mastery of chiaroscuro.

The composition’s balance, the intricacy of the Virgin Mary’s headdress, and the naturalistic rendering of the figures highlight Leonardo’s attention to detail and his profound impact on the art of the High Renaissance. The artwork remains an enduring testament to the artist’s singular ability to merge human emotion with the sublime beauty of nature.

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