Restoring Leonardo

The new frame

The cleaning of the painting is not the only improvement observant visitors may notice. The painting is in a new frame purchased specially in 2009, one that is in keeping with the original setting. It incorporates the pilasters and cornice of a north Italian frame of about 1500.

Peter Schade, Head of Framing, created the new frame by referring to work by Giacomo del Maino who carved the original altarpiece for the ‘Virgin of the Rocks’.

The new frame for Leonardo 'The Virgin of the Rocks', about 1491-1508
The newly framed painting on display at the Gallery
Read more about the frame

Newly cleaned and framed in this way, the sculptural qualities of the painting can be appreciated afresh – the left hand of Leonardo’s Virgin now almost reaches out of the painting. Years of research have brought huge benefits, not just to our understanding of a great artist, but also to the way we appreciate one of his finest works.

The full findings from the research into Leonardo’s ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ are now available in the Technical Bulletin – see the article from Volume 33

You can learn more about the work of scientists, curators and conservators online. Read online case studies to find out more about the stories hidden under the paint.

The Virgin of the Rocks
Leonardo da Vinci
about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8
 
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