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This painting was bought for the gallery of King Luís I in 1867 by Marciano da Silva, the paintings conservator of the royal gallery, who acquired it on a trip to Italy. The piece – belonging to the collection of Count Lechi, from Brescia – was acquired and exhibited as an original by Leonardo da Vinci, an attribution given as much for the subject matter as for the colouring and sfumato effects. Soon afterwards (1889), the Portuguese royal inventories adopted a more cautious position, considering the painting to belong only to the Lombard School. Later, it was attributed to one of Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest followers, the painter Cesare da Sesto, and could be dated to before his establishment in Rome, in 1515. There are abundant references in the painting to Leonardo's Virgins of the Rocks, like Christ’s gesture of blessing, the position of St. John, the smile of the virgin, as well as the landscape in the background.

Details

  • Title: The Virgin, the Child and St. John the Baptist
  • Creator: Cesare da Sesto
  • Date Created: 16th century
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 80 cm x 63.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 1607 Pint
  • Medium: Oil on poplar panel

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