From March 29, 2012 to June 25, 2012 – Musee du Louvre
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterwork The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, restored with the aid of the C2RMF (Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France), is the centerpiece of an exceptional exhibition that reunites all surviving related works for the first time.
The beginning of the slow and complex genesis of the painting dates back to 1501, when it was first mentioned in Isabella d’Este’s correspondence. Leonardo da Vinci continuously worked to perfect this ambitious composition, left unfinished upon his death in 1519.
Compositional sketches, preparatory drawings, landscape studies and the National Gallery of London’s magnificent cartoon are brought together for the first time since the artist’s death to illustrate his lengthy meditation and expose the succession of solutions he had envisioned.
Other painted artworks by Leonardo are also used to show how the Saint Anne is the true culmination of the artist’s numerous and varied explorations on nature and art.
To reveal the full scale of the artwork’s innovative nature, the exposition also strives to reposition the Saint Anne in the iconographic tradition of its subject (the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne) and demonstrate its considerable influence on Italian art in the early 16th century.
More recent tributes to the artist by Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, and Max Ernst bear witness to the masterpiece’s longstanding influence.