Madonna With The Carnation

Madonna with the Carnation -- Munich Museum, Munich
Madonna with the Carnation
Alte Pinakothek , Munich, Germany

In Madonna with the Carnation Jesus reaches out awkwardly for the flower held delicately in Mary's fingers. Like all infants he looks yet unable to control his movements as he attempts to grasp the symbol of the Passion.

Dating from 1478-1480, this painting, also known as the Munich Madonna or the Madonna with the Vase due to the vase of flowers sitting beside her, is usually considered one of Leonardo's first autonomous works. Many scholars disagree on this point, but there are a number of elements which support the idea.

Firstly, one of his drawings shows some of the details which appear in the Virgin's face, and the hair, left-hand of the Madonna, landscape, draperies and the cushion on which the child is seated are all typical of Leonardo, as is the use of chiaroscuro.

Unfortunately, Madonna with the Carnation has deteriorated badly and due to an improper restoration the surface has taken on a leathery look; this is especially obvious on the Madonna's face.

This painting in held in the collection of the Alte Pinakothek (translation: old art gallery. Pronounced: ALL-tuh peen-ah-ko-tek) in Munich, Germany.