The Dreyfus Madonna (c. 1469) by Leonardo da Vinci

The Dreyfus Madonna - Leonardo da Vinci - c. 1469

Artwork Information

TitleThe Dreyfus Madonna
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec. 1469
MediumOil on panel
Dimensions6 1/8 x 5 in (15.7 x 12.8 cm)
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

About The Dreyfus Madonna

The Dreyfus Madonna is a painting believed to be created by Leonardo da Vinci between 1469-1471. It portrays a young woman and infant widely understood to represent the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. In the painting, the woman holds a pomegranate, which symbolizes fertility.

Interesting claims suggest that Leonardo’s knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of the heart reflected in his private sketches denotes a significant transition in early cardiology history. The anatomical analysis of this artwork reveals an intuitive sense of perception regarding proper balance that was highly valued by Leonardo, as evidenced throughout his works. By manipulating one detail in Dreyfus Madonna using Paint X program, one can observe how truly meticulous he was about proportionality.

Critics have often been divided over attributing this artwork to either Da Vinci himself, Verrocchio, or Lorenzo di Credi. It is safe to say that it features many characteristics similar to other paintings done around the same time by these artists. Nevertheless, based on its anatomy and composition analysis combined with historical knowledge on Da Vinci’s style at that period conclusively indicate that Dreyfus Madonna is likely created by Leonardo da Vinci himself during his early years as an artist when he mainly worked under Andrea del Verrocchio’s apprentice system during this time in Florence, Italy.

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