Leonardo's Versions of the Rocks
Department or Program
Art and Art History
College of Arts and Sciences
Faculty Mentor #1
Leonardo da Vinci’s two paintings entitled the Virgin of the Rocks, currently located in the National Gallery in London and the Louvre in Paris, depict nearly identical subject matter in two different styles. Recent conservation confirms the authorship of the London version, allowing researchers to compare the styles of the two paintings. This presentation examines stylistic elements such as sfumato, chiaroscuro and compositional changes of the two paintings. It also considers the contractual requirements for the altarpiece and how those requirements may have influenced Leonardo’s stylistic choices. Finally, this presentation concludes that, in an attempt to create a cohesive design, Leonardo modified the style for which he is best known.