The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist
Also known as The Burlington House Cartoon
By Leonardo Divinci
This piece appears to be a Sinope, a cartoon drawn in preparation for a fresco, made from charcoal, black and white chalk, and drawn on a brownish paper. It illustrates a mother (St Anne), looking proudly at her daughter (Mary), as Mary and the other child (child St John the Baptist) look at the baby (Jesus) in an enthralled manner.
Divinci used no clear delineation to separate the four bodies. This gives the illusion that the mother and daughter's head are on one body, and the baby Jesus is a part of this body. This may be due to the way Divinci smudged his lines, giving the overall drawing a muggy look.
The baby Jesus seems to be the focal point, partly because he is in the center of the picture, but also because most eyes in the picture are on him, so this is where the viewer's eyes are drawn too.
Leonardo used the color and surface (reserve) of the paper to add to the chiaroscuro of the overall picture. Although the background to this drawing is a bit abstract you still get an impression of the dessert from the papers texture and color that comes through. Also the lines created to show the details, such as creases in the pants, contrasted with the papers color along with the linear perspective used give it a three dimensional appearance.
It is said that this cartoon represents baby Jesus blessing St John (Lairweb, nkd). You can see why people might think this by the way the baby is holding his hand.
The Creation of Adam
A Panel from The Judgment
By Michelangelo Buonarroti
This is a panel...