Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

“Virgin and Laughing Child” is unveiled as Leonardo da Vinci’s only surviving sculpture

Virgin Mary WITH LAUGHING CHILD

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Zelda Caldwell - published on 03/12/19

The great master was said to have created it around 1472, when he was 19 or 20.

The terracotta sculpture of the Virgin Mary with a laughing Christ Child seated on her lap has been part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection since 1858, but curators announced only this week that the work was created by Leonardo da Vinci.

According to the curators of the exhibition “Verrochio: Master of Leonardo, at Palazzo Strozzi,” it is the only surviving sculpture by Leonardo, who they say created it around 1472, when he was 19 or 20, while studying under the Florentine artist Andrea del Verrochio.

A report in The Guardian notes that journalists attending the press viewing of the exhibition were “awestruck” upon receiving the news that the sculpture was by Leonardo.

For years the work was attributed to the artist Antonio Rossellino, but Italian art scholar Francesco Caglioti who was among those behind the new attribution, said there was no real evidence to suggest the sculpture was by Rossellino.

According to Caglioti, the Virgin Mary’s enigmatic smile is similar to expressions found in other works of art created by Leonardo, including the Mona Lisa.

Even more convincing, The Guardian reported, were two ways in which the sculpture resembled Leonardo’s drawings at the time. The folded draperies around the Virgin Mary’s legs are similar to drawings of draperies Leonardo was making at the time. And secondly, the life-like laughing face of the Christ child is similar to drawings Leonardo had done of children.

Tags:
Art
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
HEART OF JESUS
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.