Artibus et Historiae no. 80 (XL)

2019, ISSN 0391-9064

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VILMOS TÁTRAI - A Question of Leonardism: The Budapest Version of the Madonna with the Holy Children at Play (pp. 113–120)

In the year 1862 in London Count János Pálffy acquired a painting at the time attributed to the circle of Leonardo da Vinci. Although as part of his bequest it entered the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1912, it was restored only in 2006–2007. Its composition – together with that of a further five paintings, is based on sketches of the Virgin adoring the Christ Child drawn by Leonardo on one of the sheets of the Metropolitan Museum, New York (17.142.1). While the group of five paintings also reflects the influence of Raphael in his Florentine period, the Budapest panel is purely Lombard-Milanese in character. As earlier suggested by Carmen C. Bambach, Mauro Natale and Thereza Wells, the group of the three figures can be attributed to Marco d’Oggiono while the landscape should be ascribed to a different hand. According to the author of the present article the foreground with the main group of figures was probably executed about 1495 in the Milanese workshop of the master, while the landscape in the background with Lombard and Netherlandish elements of style were added about two decades later, circa 1515. The painting is particularly noteworthy for its close attention to detail in the accurately rendered flowers of the foreground, realized in the spirit of Leonardo’s best botanical studies.

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