The 50 cm-tall red clay sculpture called “The Virgin with the Laughing Child” is the miraculous exception, according to the curators of the exhibition “Verrocchio: Master of Leonardo“, at Palazzo Strozzi.
It is said to have been created by da Vinci around 1472, when he was 19 or 20 and a pupil of the Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio.
The sculpture has been in London‘s Victoria and Albert (VA) Museum since 1858 but had been credited to another artist, Antonio Rossellino, according to Francesco Caglioti, the Italian academic who is leading the new attribution.
They focus on two crucial details: First, the voluminous, complicated draperies that flow over the Madonna’s legs are similar to drawings of draperies da Vinci was making at the time, Bambach said.
Second, there’s the face of baby Jesus Christ and his realistic, well-observed pose. He looks alive. That same attention to young children’s actual behaviour can be seen in da Vinci’s drawings, the scholar added.