Madonna and Child appear in half-length, seated against a dark wall. The Child's body is covered in shadow as he looks over his shoulder at his mother. This painting was bought by James Jackson Jarves as a Leonardo. The landscape and features of the figures are similar to Leonardo's Madonna of the Rocks, and in typical Leonardesque fashion, the figures' heads incline slightly to the left. However, Virgin and Child was later attributed to a member of Leonardo's circle named Francesco Napolitano (active 1500) because of its resemblance to his Madonna and Child with St. Sebastian and St. John the Baptist in Zurich, Switzerland. Virgin and Child has not been widely accepted as a work of Napolitano, however, the present artist was certainly a member of Leonardo's circle. The Sforzesco Castle, the seat of Milan's ruling Sforza family, appears in the background. The castle's original Torre del Filarete, visible in this painting, was destroyed by lightning in 1521 and later rebuilt by Francesco Sforza. The destruction of the Torre establishes a date of about 1500 for this painting.

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  • Title: Virgin and Child
  • Creator: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519)
  • Date Created: c. 1500
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 57.5 x 47 x 4 cm (22 5/8 x 18 1/2 x 1 9/16 in.); Painted surface: 41.5 x 30.3 cm (16 5/16 x 11 15/16 in.); Panel: 41.7 x 30.9 cm (16 7/16 x 12 3/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Leopoldo Franceschi (San Miniatello, Italy), after his death, acquired by a carpenter named Monta, Monta (Florence, Italy), after his death, by inheritance to his heirs, Heirs of Monta, sold to Vincenzo Corsi, Florence, 1857, Vincenzo Corsi (Florence, Italy), sold to James Jackson Jarves, 1858, James Jackson Jarves [1818-1888] sold to Mrs. Liberty E. Holden, Mrs. Liberty E. Holden [1838-1932] Cleveland, OH, by gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1916., The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1916.779
  • Medium: oil on wood
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Italy, early 16th Century
  • Credit Line: Holden Collection
  • Collection: P - Italian 15th Century and earlier
  • Accession Number: 1916.779

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