Virgin of the Rocks

Virgin of the Rocks is an oil painting produced between 1483 and 1486 by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

There are two version of the painting both are identical except for several significant details, other named as the Madonna of the Rocks. One hangs in The Louvre, Paris considered as the prime version and the other in the National Gallery, London.

Both versions of the paintings show the Madonna and Child Jesus with the infant John the Baptist and an angel on a rocky destination which gives usual name to the painting Virgin of the Rocks or Madonna of the Rocks. Several significant detail differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel other many minor ways in which the work differ includes the color, lighting, plants, and the way in which sfumato has been used. The complete histories of both of the two paintings (Virgin of the Rocks or Madonna of the Rocks) are still unknown as even the date of an associated commission was already documented but still it led to speculation about which of the two paintings is earlier.

The work can be viewed at The Louvre in Paris.

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Location: The Louvre, Paris
Medium: oil on panel


Virgin of the Rocks is an oil painting produced between 1483 and 1486 by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

The Virgin of the Rocks in the Louvre, Paris is considered the earliest of the two identical paintings by most art historians. Most of art historians and authorities agree that the work is entirely by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting is about 8cm or 3 inches taller than its later, London version. The first certain record of this painting came to existence in 1625 when it was seen in the French royal collection. It is generally accepted worldwide that this painting was produced in 1483 to fulfill a commission in Milan.

It was a hypothesis that the painting was privately sold by Leonardo da Vinci and that the London version was painted at a later date. There are many other theories by art historians to explain the existence of two paintings which was regarded as the perfect example of Leonardo’s use of his “sfumato” technique.

Ready to ignite your passion for art?

Join us! We're on a novel mission to provide you with inspiring and interesting stories on art and culture. Get our latest articles delivered to your inbox

Thank you. You will now receive a confirmation email requesting your approval to complete the subscription. Keep reading!