Madonna with the Yarnwinder (c.1510; Milan, Italy) by Leonardo da Vinci

Madonna with the Yarnwinder - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1510; Milan, Italy

All Artwork Images

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna with the Yarnwinder
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec.1510; Milan, Italy
Dimensions50.2 x 36.4 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK

About Madonna with the Yarnwinder

The artwork, “Madonna with the Yarnwinder,” is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, a quintessential figure of the High Renaissance art movement. Created circa 1510 in Milan, Italy, this oil on canvas painting measures 50.2 by 36.4 centimeters. It is a religious painting reflecting the profound narratives of the Christian faith, and it presently resides within a private collection, though it is associated with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art located in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

In the artwork, the Virgin Mary is depicted seated, holding the young Christ Child in her lap. The Child clutches a yarnwinder, which is symbolic of the cross, foreshadowing his crucifixion. Both figures are rendered with exquisite detail and soft, delicate features that exhibit Leonardo’s mastery of human anatomy and emotive expression. Mary’s gaze is downward, contemplative, perhaps prescient of the future suffering of her son. In contrast, the Child’s gaze is directed outward, engaging with something beyond the scene, possibly an acknowledgment of his divine destiny.

The composition is set against an expansive and craggy landscape that recedes into misty mountains, a hallmark of Leonardo’s ability to create depth and atmospheric perspective. The interplay of light and shadow, another characteristic of Leonardo’s work, adds a three-dimensional quality to the figures, imbuing them with a sense of realism. The detailed rendering of the yarnwinder in the hands of Christ is symbolic and also serves as a testament to Leonardo’s attention to the intricate and meaningful elements in his works.

The tranquil yet poignant scene encapsulates the essence of the High Renaissance through its focus on human emotion, the use of perspective, and the fusion of the natural with the spiritual realm, which Leonardo da Vinci so elegantly achieved in his work.

Other Artwork from Leonardo da Vinci

More High Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top