Hall 15 – Leonardo

The room is very famous thanks to some masterpieces by young Leonardo da Vinci, painted before he moved to Milan in 1482 in the service of Duke Ludovico il Moro.

The great artist-scientist trained as an apprentice with great master Verrocchio. In this room is displayed a work dating back to this period of Leonardo’s life: the Baptism of Christ (c.1470-1475). Even if it was painted mainly by Verrocchio, we can notice Leonardo’s touch in the young angel on the left and in the landscape. The difference in style of these two details makes us think of an intervention by the promising young apprentice. It’s especially in the shaded hazy landscape and in the figure outlines that Leonardo, at that time a twenty years old boy, rises above Verrocchio.

The style of the brilliant artist is even more observable in the beautiful Annunciation (c. 1472). In this masterpiece his scientific attention to natural phenomena is expressed in the detailed description of the wings of the angel, painted as those of a real bird, or in the innumerable varieties of flowers on the meadow. But it’s in the landscape that the genius of Leonardo amazes us: a lake-side city and some mountains surrounded by a soft light that blurs the details of the objects in the exact way we perceive details at such a far distance.

Another interesting work displayed is the Adoration of the Magi (1481). Although unfinished, this painting helps us understand the main peculiarities of the Leonardo’s style: his emotional intensity, the expression of feelings and his dynamic drawing technique. The artwork is now under restoration.

In the same room, in addition to the works of Leonardo, there are also important works by other famous masters active during the late XV and early XVI century: Perugino (worth to admire his beautiful Pietà, c.1493-1494), Luca Signorelli, Lorenzo di Credi and Piero di Cosimo.