National Gallery in London presents the exhibition "Leonardo. Feel the masterpiece“which will show radically new images of one of the most popular masterpieces in its collection -“ Madonna in the Rocks ”(1491/99, 1506/08) by Leonardo da Vinci. The drawings found under the surface of the work prove that the original composition of the painting was completely different.
The fact that Leonardo remade an almost two-meter oil painting on the panel became known back in 2005. Then experts studied it using infrared reflectography. Now, thanks to newer technologies, it was possible to make out details much more clearly.
In fact, under the surface there are two different layers, processed later. One of them is quite close to the final composition, but the baby Jesus on it is not turned in profile, as in the final version. In an even earlier version, the Virgin Mary, on the left, looks at her son and the angel bending over him. The last two figures are so close that it seems as if one is hugging the other.
The exhibit “will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating layers of this iconic masterpiece,” said a statement by Richard Slainy, managing director of 59 Productions, the company hired to create the exhibition. He also added that the show would be their “first digital experience led by the National Gallery”.