Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint Anne … at the Louvre … in Paris …

I’ve always wanted to fly. No, I do not mean flying in a plane, but to have wings of my own and to fly and to touch the sky. And what do you know? I had wings a couple of days ago and I flew and I touched the sky, and closing my eyes now, […]

Louvre

I’ve always wanted to fly. No, I do not mean flying in a plane, but to have wings of my own and to fly and to touch the sky.

And what do you know?

I had wings a couple of days ago and I flew and I touched the sky, and closing my eyes now, the wings are back and I am yet again touching the sk

I went to the Louvre Museum’s La Sainte Anne l’ultime chef-d’œvre de Léonardo da Vinci – Léonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece – exhibition.

It opened on Sunday, March 25 and runs through to Monday, June 25 – of this year of course.

It is one of the big exhibitions of this spring art season, so I recommend that you get your ticket in advance. You can do so here

Know that if you do not have a ticket this will be what will happen. You will have to line up on the square in front of the museum to be able to step into the glass pyramid. The queue is always long. Then, once you are inside and in the big lobby under the glass pyramid (in the summer it’s hot and stuffy in there) you have to line up at one of the ticket offices and there too you will have a long wait. Then, when you’ve bought your ticket you will yet again have to line up at the exhibition itself and there the wait will without doubt be a very long one.

So what gave me wings?

To begin with Léonardo’s The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne painting.
The painting – it’s France’s property and on permanent display at the Louvre – was these past couple of years being restored by the Centre de Restauration et Restauration des Musées de France.

The restoration was vehemently criticized as having made the painting too bright. Two of the Louvre’s top art experts – Ségolène Bergeon Langle and Jean-Pierre Cuzin – even resigned their posts: Langle was Director of Conservation for all of France’s national museums, and Cuzin was Head of Paintings at the Louvre.

Other art experts though hailed the restoration of having returned clarity to the painting; clarity which had been lost because of past over-painting and the layers of varnish which were applied to it.

Admittedly, I am not an art expert but I do recognize beauty when I see it, and the painting is beauty of the purest form.

But there is more to the exhibition than this painting.

The exhibition takes the visitor through Léonardo’s long preparation for the painting

The Virgin's head

We therefore see the notes he had taken, the sketches he had made of the faces of the two women of the painting – Saint Anne and the Holy Virgin – and of little naked Jesus with the golden curls, and of the little white lamb he holds, and of the background landscape.

The Virgin's wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can furthermore view several Saint Anne trinity (Anne with the Virgin Mary and little Jesus) paintings done by Leonardo’s students as well as other artists like Degas, Max Ernst and Delacroix.

By one of Leonardo's students

Another one by another of Leonardo's students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it’s not yet all.

Also exhibited is Léonardo’s Saint John the Baptist.

Leonardo's Saint John the Baptist? Salai perhaps?

There are art experts who say that it was Léonardo’s pupil and lover Salai (Little Devil) – real name Gian Giacomo Captrotti da Orena – who was the model for this painting. I wrote about Léonardo and Salai here. The painting is also the property of France and on permanent display at the Louvre.

By the way it is also being said that Léonardo’s Mona Lisa (La Jaconde) is a painting of Salai in drag. But you can also read about it on the mentioned url above.

As with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Anne, the Mona Lisa is also France’s property and on permanent display at the Louvre.

But wait for it there is still more to see at this exhibition…

You can also see the Madrid’s Prado Museum’s restored Mona Lisa. I wrote about this too here.

I am probably committing heresy but I find the Prado’s Mona Lisa more beautiful than Léonardo’s original.

The Prado's Mona Lisa

If you are not Catholic you may well ask who Saint Anne was.

Anne, also known as Anna or Hannah was Jesus’ grandmother: in other words she was Mary’s mother.

Mary’s father was Joachim but she was conceived with the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

So, it is claimed, was Anne whose mother was Faqud.

That makes a lot of virgin births which makes me wonder what was the problem with conceiving in the normal way.

Anyway, Anne was supposed to have never known Jesus as she died before he was born, but she was all the same declared the patron saint of women in labor. Also of miners, which makes me wonder what’s there to compare between giving birth and working in a mine?

The Louvre is open every day but Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free the first Sunday of every month. A ticket for an adult costs €11 ($15 / £9). It’s money well spent.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses to “Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint Anne … at the Louvre … in Paris …”

  1. 2
    Charmaine Howard Says:

    Your Comments
    Marilyn, once again you have educated me….very interesting article. Having never seen the Mona Lisa, except in pictures, I agree with you that the Prado’s Mona Lisa is more beautiful. Here I’m judging from the picture.

  2. 1
    Leonardo da Vinci's Saint Anne … at the Louvre … in Paris … – The … | Oil Painting Outlet Says:

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