"Burlington Cartoon" by Leonardo
When Leonardo returned to Florence from Milan in the early 1500s, he made an immediate impression. Vasari recounts how a Leonardo cartoon was put on display in the church of Santissima Annunziata and how great crowds “would gaze in amazement at the marvels he had created.” This “amazing” cartoon is generally believed to be the so-called “Burlington Cartoon” in the National Gallery of Art in London. Not directly related to any of Leonardo’s paintings, the cartoon – which depicts the Virgin Mary, St. Anne, young St. John the Baptist, and the Christ child – may have actually been considered a finished work of art by the artist and his contemporaries.

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