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The Virgin and Child
Follower of Leonardo da Vinci
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most emulated and copied painters in history, and many artists have tried to reproduce his painting style. Most of them, like the artist who made this painting, did not come anywhere close to matching his skill. Paintings like this fulfilled a demand for pictures in Leonardo’s style, especially in Milan after his departure in 1513, which is around the time this work was made.

The multiple supple folds of the draperies, the muted colours and the generally dark atmosphere from which the figures seem to emerge reflect Leonardo’s works of the early years of the sixteenth century. The composition, however, is most closely based upon a picture made by Leonardo in the early 1490s, The Madonna Litta (State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg). It shows the Virgin feeding the infant Christ, his little legs wriggling as he grasps her breast in his mouth.

Key facts
Artist Follower of Leonardo da Vinci
Artist dates 1452 - 1519
Full title The Virgin and Child
Date made after 1510
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 59.7 x 43.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG1300
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
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