A deep dive into Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Virgin of the Rocks” (ca. 1491/2-9 and 1506-8) has revealed unexpected images of now-hidden drawings lying underneath its surface.
15 years ago, it was revealed that the Virgin Mary’s pose had been changed during Leonardo’s process of completing the work. However, this month, London’s National Gallery announced the findings of its even closer look into the famous artwork, depicting a haloed Virgin Mary with an infant Saint John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
Using advanced techniques including infrared and hyperspectral imaging, they were able to reveal Leonardo’s original design, which is vastly different than the final product. In the initial sketch, an angel wraps an infant Jesus Christ tightly in her arms, while she and Mary gaze at him lovingly from a distance. The findings were made possible because of the presence of zinc in the drawing material, which was made visible in the macro x-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) maps revealing its outline. Leonardo’s motivation to rework the canvas is still unclear to researchers.
“By its very nature, much of the research we do at the National Gallery takes place in closed studios, laboratories and libraries,” said Dr. Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research. “This is an exciting opportunity to not only share our innovative findings, but also to invite the public to explore and engage with what we have found.”
Organizations worldwide are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the polymath’s death. National Gallery is opening an immersive exhibition, Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece, on November 9, 2019.
In an open letter, European institutional leaders defend Manuel Borja-Villel, who has faced right-wing attacks for his progressive programming.
A new study posits that rising smog levels in 19th-century London and Paris likely played a role in blurring the lines of realism.
In Seongmin Ahn’s paintings, it is not our past we are looking at but our possible future.
Born in Shiraz, Sokhanvari fled Iran as a child a year before the Revolution and has devoted her artistic practice to the country she left behind.
Join the New-York Historical Society on February 10 for a virtual conversation about our changing relationship to the natural world with Julie Decker, John Grade, and LaMont Hamilton.
Stephen L. Starkman’s moving book about his encounter with mortality leaves a place for perseverance and hope.
“We clearly f-ed this one up,” said a Metropolitan Transit Authority rep, adding that the error in the artist’s last name is being fixed.
At least we won’t have to look at it on Earth.
From residencies, fellowships, and workshops to grants, open calls, and commissions, our monthly list of opportunities for artists, writers, and art workers.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
The statue could be a likeness of Trajan Decius, emperor of the Roman Empire from 249 to 251 CE.
The action could disrupt public access to the museum as workers campaign for higher wages and better labor conditions.