An Angel in Green with a Vielle by Leonardo da Vinci


An Angel in Green with a Vielle


Leonardo da Vinci

Ref GM3337
Type Fine Art Print
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This painting ‘An Angel in Green with a Vielle’, is believed to have been painted by an associate of Leonardo da Vinci, Francesco Napoletano. Together with 'An Angel in Red with a Lute', it came from the same altarpiece as 'The Virgin of the Rocks' by Leonardo. Painted around 1490-1499, with oil on wood panel made from poplar. It may have decorated the inside of a shutter on the right. In pose and character this angel echoes the one in Leonardo's painting. Leonardo is likely to have played some part in the design but the execution is by an associate. When the outer panels are assembled with the centrepiece, the fact that both angels are turned the same way gives a strange appearance as if both were intended to go on the right side of the central panel. One would expect that, even if a single design was used, the motif would have been reversed, as was common in early Renaissance paintings. A recent investigation and cleaning of the two panels by the National Gallery revealed that the grey niches were later additions. A reflectogram of the painting of the angel in green revealed traces of a landscape behind the angels. The National Gallery proposes that the angels were at a level higher than the central panel, rather than on either side of it.