The Virgin of the Rocks Paintings


As Leonardo da Vinci began to research geology and landscapes, and as other artists of the time began to develop, his landscapes began to have much more detail.  Around 1483 this painting was commissioned for the church of San Francesco Grande, Milan for a group of religious followers devoted to the Immaculate Conception. In this artwork, there is so much detail in the background of the image in the rocks. The colors in the background are much darker than typical for depicting the Virgin Mary which could be to bring the focus into the bright colors around the Virgin Mary, and it could also be to make a more accurate image of rocks in the background. While it’s not known exactly where the background of this image is supposed to be, the realism of the rock formations and structures could only be imagined from studying different geological structures closely.  Another interesting detail in this painting would be in the froeground of picture where you can other small rocks and small plants. Leonardo had not only studied larger rock formations, but also smaller sediments. 

Works Cited:

“Leonardo Da Vinci: The Virgin of the Rocks: NG1093: National Gallery, London.” The National Gallery,

“Leonardo Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks.”,

By Leonardo da Vinci -, Public Domain,

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with The Virgin of the Rocks Paintings

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