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fashion of a Parthian dart. This figure recalls the types of the school of Fontainebleau, rather than those of Leonardo.
Strange to say, the composition, which contains passages of great freedom—a series of torsoes not unworthy of Michelangelo—abounds in faulty foreshortenings. All the figures in the foreground, running or seated, are very much too short.1
All the information we have as to other sculptures by Leonardo is more or less open to question.
Among the works ascribed to him are: The Infant Jesus blessing the little S. John, a terra-cotta, formerly the property of Cardinal Federigo Borromeo ; 2 and a S. Jerome, in high relief, formerly in the Hugford collection at Florence.3
According to Rio,4 Leonardo even worked in ivory!" M. Thiers," remarks this uncritical writer, "owns a little ivory figure of exquisite workmanship, which can hardly be attributed to any one but Leonardo." It is enough to reproduce such an assertion to show its inanity!
Needless to say, the sculpture of the School of Milan fell under Leonardo's ascendency no less evidently than the painting. Indeed, the principles of the creator of the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza and of the Last Supper5 were so suggestive that they extended their
1 Dr. Bode ascribes the Discord to Verrocchio: Archivio storico deir Arte, 1893, p. 11 et seq.
2 Rio, L' Art Chretien, vol. iii. p. 78.
3 Venturi, Essai sur les Ouvrages physica-mathcmatiqucs de Leonard de Vinci, p. 46. * L'Art Chretien, p. 57.
5 Copies without number, both in marble and bronze, prove how great must have been the sensation produced among the sculptors of Northern Italy by the Last Supper. First, we have the copy in bas-relief by Stefano da Sesto in the Certosa at Pavia, then two very similar copies in the church at Saronno and in S. Maria dei Miracoli at Venice (Frizzoni, Archivio storico dell ' Arte, 1889). Another artist substituted silver for marble in a copy executed about the same time (Bossi, del Cenacolo, pp. 143, 165). In 1529, Andrea da Milano copied the picture in high relief, and replaced the painted figures by thirteen statues. Traces of the Leonardesque may be noted in the Virgin enthroned of Stefano da Sesto, also in the Certosa at Pavia (Liibke : Zeitschrift fur bildende Kunst, vol. vi. p. 44). The Apostles standing or kneeling at each side of the Virgin are reminiscent both of Leonardo and of Raphael. On another monument in the Certosa, the tomb of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, by Benedetto Briosco, there is a head of a Virgin which, with its perfect oval face and compressed mouth, at once recalls Leonardo. According to Vasari, Gugliemo della Porta is to be reckoned among the imitators of the master. Finally, we may note that in Tuscany Leonardo had the sculptor Rustici for a pupil, and honoured the young Bandinelli with his counsels.
vivifying influence even into regions apparently inaccessible to their action. It appears unexpectedly in artists like Bernardino Luini and Sodoma, who never had the good fortune to come into personal contact with Leonardo. But this influence did not manifest itself everywhere with identical, or equally beneficial, results. Though the Milanese sculptors recognised the supreme grace of Leonardo's creation and, to a certain extent, the difficulties that he had overcome, they had no conception of the infinite amount of detailed research and strenuous labour that went to make up the sum of his perfection. Hence it was that Milanese sculpture passed from extreme ruggedness to the facility, the polish, the sentimental insipidity so apparent in the statues and bas-reliefs of Briosco at the Certosa of Pavia, and those of Bambaja, on the famous tomb of Gaston de Foix.
HERE is no more tantalising problem in the history of modern art than that of the classification and chronology of Leonardo da Vinci's works. One is sometimes tempted to believe that just as the master's handwriting remained absolutely unchanged for thirty-five years, making it impossible £o distinguish the manuscripts of his extreme old age from those of his first literary efforts,1 so, too, his manner of drawing and painting never varied an iota throughout his career. I will not undertake to solve all the difficulties, many of them inextricable, which beset the determination of dates in a life-work of such importance as that of Leonardo. In such investigations it is impossible to show too much reserve, scepticism, and above all modesty, a virtue which is becoming extremely rare in the domain of artistic erudition. But I may claim to offer some materials for
1 See M. Charles Ravaisson-Mollicn's Manuscrits de Leonard de Vinci, vol. v. p. I.
A FIGURE FOR "THE ADOIVATION
(Bonnat Collection, Paris.)
the building up of a monument which no isolated efforts can hope to raise.
Successive biographers of Leonardo have fixed the date of the Virgin of the Rocks, some before his removal from Florence,1 some after his establishment at Milan ; 2 in other words, some before and some after the year 1484. A recently discovered document has settled this vexed question ;3 the picture was painted at Milan.
Nevertheless, there is a vast gulf between the Louvre picture and other works painted by Leonardo at Milan; technique, style, expression, all differ. The drawing is slightly dry and hard, somewhat in the manner of Verrocchio; the crumpled draperies, the anxious, even fretful expression of the faces, are peculiarities (we dare not say faults, for such faults disarm criticism) which were soon to disappear in the master's more mature works. In a word, though it was painted at Milan, the Virgin of the Rocks is Florentine in feeling.
The picture, in spite of the impression of rapid and spontaneous creation it makes upon the spectator, was one of the most laborious of the master's works, as his drawings bear witness. A characteristic
1 Charles Clement, Miiller-Walde. I myself once shared this opinion.
2 Liibke, Geschichte dc.- italienischen Malerei, vol. ii.—A. Gruyer, Voyage autour du Salon car re du Louvre, p. 33. Paris, 1891. M. Gruyer believes the picture to have been painted at Milan, rather at the beginning than at the end of Leonardo's sojourn thereAccording to him, it dates from between 14S2 and 1490, rather than from between 1490 and 1500.
3 Motta, Archivio storico lombardo, 1893, vol. xx., p. 972-977.—Frizzoni, Archivio storico deir Arte, 1894, p. 58-61. The following is an abstract of this curious document: At a date unspecified, between 1484 and 1494, Giovanni Ambrogio Preda and Leonardo da Vinci agreed with the Brothers of the Chapel of the Conception of the Church of San Francesco at Milan, to execute an altar-piece ("una ancona") for them, to consist of gilded figures in relief, an oil painting of the Virgin, and two other pictures, also in oil, large figures of angels. Difficulties arose in connection with the price: the two artists valued the work at 300 florins; the friars, however, declined to give more than 25 florins for the Madonna, though several amateurs had offered 100. In the petition addressed to the Duke on the subject, the artists ask that the Madonna should be left in their hands, and that the 800 lire paid them by the friars should be considered the price of the reredos and the two angels.
It must not, however, be supposed that Preda was Leonardo's collaborator in the picture. They were associated in the execution of a carved reredos with three pictures. Preda clearly produced the sculptures; he is, too, the reputed author of the two angels; and Leonardo—as this document finally establishes—painted the Madonna with his own hand.