Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci
  1469 - 1470 Dreyfus Madonna
6,2 x 1,1 in (15,7 x 2,8 cm) on wood - National Gallery of Art, Washington

Some people attribute this painting, housed at the National Gallery in Washington, to Leonardo and others to Lorenzo di Credi. In Dresden there is a preparatory sketch of the drapery that is credited to Lorenzo di Credi.

It is not certain whether the picture can be attributed to Leonardo because the paintings done in Verrocchio’s studio were painted by several people. However, it is possible that Leonardo had contributed something to it.


How many works are really his?
Not all the works credited to Leonardo can be certified historically. Some are believed to be his, some can be documented and others are the work of more than one artist.
  Chronology of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci
The graph’s timeline represents the year of the work and the period of Leonardo’s life. Since no exact dates are known, the shading indicates that the work was executed within that particular time frame.

  1470 - 1473 Madonna with the Carnation
24,4 x 18,7 in (62 x 47,5 cm) – oil on wood – Alte Pinakothek, Munich

This panel, housed in Munich, was not credited to Leonardo until very recently. This opinion is based on technical considerations (the craquelure [crazing] which is the same type used on other paintings by Leonardo) and on the evaluation of similarities with other of his works from the same period, for example the “Annunciation”, exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery. Similarities can be found in the head of the Madonna and in the treatment of the rich draperies. However, historically it would appear that Verrocchio composed the painting, and may have been completed by his young pupils including, Leonardo.


  1470-1475 Annunciation
38,5 x 85,4 in (98 x 217 cm) – oil and tempera on wood - Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The painting is the work of Leonardo and other artists in Verrocchio’s studio. The quality and details vary. Some of the building cannot be attributed to Leonardo’s brushwork, but it was certainly Leonardo who painted the details of the port and outlined the ships. Many people have commented on the Virgin’s strange posture: her right arm is anatomically incorrect, it is longer and bent unnaturally inorder to reach the angel with the book. The landscape in the center of the picture shows evidence of several layers of paint being used to give an impression of depth; this technique is typical of Leonardo.


  1473 - 1478 Baptism of Christ
69,6 x 59,4 in (177 x 151cm) - detail - Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The “Baptism of Christ by Verrocchio” in oils and tempera on a wooden panel, was painted between 1473 and 1478 and is the work of Verrocchio. Leonardo drew the angel holding the tunic, at bottom left. The picture is in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The first person to mention Leonardo’s part in this work was Giorgio Vasari. All the areas painted in oils were done by Leonardo: the face of the angel seen in profile and some of the other angel’s curls.


The angel at bottom left is by Leonardo



1474 - 1476 Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci
15,2 x 14,4 in (38,8 x 36,7cm) - tempera and oils on wood - front and back - National Gallery of Art, Washington

This portrait in tempera and oils was painted on a panel between 1474 and 1476. It is housed in the National Gallery in Washington. The bottom of the panel may have been cut off, resulting in the loss of the lower part of the sitter’s body. It was painted for Ginevra’s marriage to Luigi di Bernardo di Lapo Niccolini. The marble clarity of her face is in strong contrast to the dark juniper bush in the background. Leonardo used his fingers to shade the coloring of the face, so he left his fingerprints on the panel.

The back of the panel is also painted. The words on the banner are: "VIRTVTEM FORMA DECORAT"



1478 - 1482 Madonna with Child - Benois Madonna
18,9 x 12,2 in (48 x 31 cm) – oil panel transferred to canvas – Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

The Benois Madonna - 18,9 x 12,2 in (48 x 31 cm) - painted between 1478 and 1482, was originally executed in oils on wood, then transferred to canvas. It is conserved in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. The small panel was bought by a merchant called Sapoznikov in 1824 in Astrakhan, before becoming the property of the Benois family. It has been exhibited at the Hermitage Museum since 1914. The halo may be a later addition. The window at top right originally opened onto a landscape which has since been painted over in white.


  1480 Saint Jerome
40,5 x 29,5 in (103 x 75 cm) - tempera and oils on wood – Art Galleries of the Vatican City, Rome

"Saint Jerome" is a painting in tempera and oils on a panel 40,5 x 29,5 in (103 x 75 cm), executed in 1480. It is housed in the Art Galleries of the Vatican City, Rome. The painting shows Saint Jerome on his knees, in the act of beating his breast.
The section of the panel containing the saint’s face was once cut out, but was later rediscovered and the painting put back together. The story goes that the square that was removed had been used as the seat of a stool.


  1482 Adoration of the Magi
96,8 x 95,6 in (246 x 243 cm) – oil on wood - Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This oil painting, on a panel 96,8 x 95,6 in (246 x 243 cm), was executed between 1481 and 1482. The work was commissioned in March 1481 by the monks of San Donato in Scopeto, but it was never completed and when Leonardo departed for Milan, it was left in a room in his friend Amerigo Benci’s house. Later it passed into the Medici family collection before arriving at the Uffizi Gallery. In the foreground, the Madonna and Child are at the center, surrounded by a crowd of people that includes the Magi. The horses rearing up in the background (top right) derive from Leonardo’s drawings of knights doing battle with a dragon.



1483 -1486 The Virgin of the Rocks - Paris
74,6 x 47,2 in (189,5 x 120 cm) – oil on wood - Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting, in oils on a wooden panel 74,6 x 47,2 in (189,5 x 120 cm), was executed between 1495 and 1508. It is conserved inside the Louvre in Paris. The de Predis brothers commissioned it from Leonardo on 25 April 1483. There are two versions of this picture; the other one is in London.

Differences between this painting and the one in the National Gallery, London:
- in this picture the angel (without wings but with a red cloak) is pointing at the Infant Saint John
- Saint John does not have a cross
- the angel is looking at the Child beside him, while in the other version he is gazing outside the picture
- the Virgin, Child and Saint John have no haloes; in the London painting the haloes are present.
- the colors in this painting are darker than those Leonardo used in the later version


1486 Portrait of a Musician
16,9 x 12,2 in (43 x 31 cm) – oil on wood - Ambrosiana Art Gallery, Milan

The portrait, in oils on a wooden panel, 16,9 x 12,2 in (43 x 31 cm), was painted in 1486. It is inside the Ambrosiana Art Gallery. The subject is thought to be Franchino Gaffurio, choirmaster of Milan Cathedral from 1484, who also frequented the court of the Duke of Milan and was certainly amongst Leonardo’s friends. In 1904, it was decided to remove the layer of varnish at the bottom of the painting, which had previously covered the right hand and the manuscript showing the notes and lines of a musical score. Some areas of the painting, such as the tunic, were done quickly and are probably not by Leonardo; the work has been repainted on several occasions over the years.


  1488 - 1490 Lady with the Ermine - Cecilia Gallerani
21,5 x 15,8 in (54,8 x 40,3 cm) – oil on wood - Czartoryski Museum, Krakow

This portrait, in oils on a panel 21,5 x 15,8 in (54,8 x 40,3 cm), was painted between 1488 and 1490. It is housed at the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. The text at top left, "LA BELE FERONIERE LEONARD DA VINCI", is questionable. The lady is believed to be Cecilia Gallerani, one of the mistresses of Duke Ludovico Sforza, Leonardo’s patron in Milan. In fact, the ermine was Ludovico’s heraldic emblem. The animal was viewed as a symbol of purity because of its white fur. X-ray examinations have revealed that the painting once had a window behind the lady’s left shoulder.


  1490-1495 Portrait of a Lady - La Belle Ferronnière
24,8 x 17,7 in (63 x 45 cm) – oil on wood - Musée du Louvre, Paris

"La Belle Ferronnière" was painted in oils on a panel 24,8 x 17,7 in (63 x 45 cm) between 1490 and 1495. It is housed in the Louvre, in Paris. The title by which the painting is universally known, “La Belle Ferronnière”, means “the ironmonger’s beautiful wife” and is simply the result of a misunderstanding that arose in the 18th century when an inventory confused this portrait with one of another woman. Opinion as to the identity of the Ferronnière has varied between Cecilia Gallerani (see Lady with the Ermine), Elisabetta Gonzaga and Lucrezia Crivelli.


  1494-1498 The Last Supper
181,1 x 346,4 in (460 x 880 cm) - mural painting with tempera and oils - Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

The Last Supper (also known as The Cenacle) is painted in tempera and oils on two preparatory chalk layers over plaster. The painting measures 181,1 x 346,4 in (460 x 880 cm) and was executed between 1494 and 1497. In his letter of 8 February 1498 dedicating his treatise "De divina proportione" to Ludovico the Moor, Luca Pacioli refers to it as already finished. The Cenacle is the greatest of Leonardo’s paintings and the only one of his frescoes to have survived. It depicts the scene of the Eucharist at the moment when Christ says, “One of you shall betray me”. Judas feels he is being accused. St. James the Great is stunned and throws his arms wide; beside him, St. Philip clutches his hands to his breast. St. Peter leans forward impulsively, while in front of him, Judas steps back, looking guilty. At the far right of the table, from left to right, St. Matthew, St. Thaddeus and St. Simon’s agitated gestures express their bewilderment and incredulity. In the center, Christ is portrayed with his arms open on the table. The scene takes place in a virtual area that extends the walls of the supper room. The added virtual light coming from the left corresponds to the real light in the room, which in fact has windows in the left-hand wall.


  1497-1499 Sala delle asse – Sforza Castle
Ceiling of the “sala delle asse” (room of the wooden boards) – paint on plaster – Sforza Castle, Milan

The ceiling painted by Leonardo and his assistants in this large room in the tower of the Sforza Castle is a massive allegory on his own name, Vinci (which means knots or willows). A complicated tracery of vegetation culminates in the central coat of arms of the Sforza family, in glorification of the Moor’s good government. The ceiling was almost entirely restored in 1901 and further restoration was carried out in 1956. Leonardo probably made use of his pupils and other helpers to complete the work.


  1499-1500 Isabella d'Este
24,8 x 18,1 in (63 x 46 cm) – chalk and sanguine on paper – Musée du Louvre, Paris

In Mantua, Leonardo was requested to paint a portrait of Isabella d'Este. Despite being asked several times, he never produced the painting. This is the preliminary sketch.


  1501 Madonna with the Spindle
19 x 14,5 in (48,3 x 36,9 cm) – oil on wood – Buccleuch Collection

As we are aware from a letter Pietro da Novellara wrote to Isabella d'Este in 1501, this picture is described as “a seated Madonna who looks as if she wants to wind wool onto spindles". In fact, the Child is playing with a spindle, whose shape suggests a cross. There are three known versions of the painting; this one, which is part of a private collection in New York, seems to be the one painted by Leonardo himself, though some people maintain that even in this picture his pupils made many contributions to the work.


  1501 Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
55,7 x 40,9 in (141,5 x 104 cm) – charcoal on paper, with chalk highlights – National Gallery, London

This picture (size 55,7 x 40,9 in; 141,5 x 104 cm) of Saint Anne, the Madonna, Child and the Infant Saint John (also known as the Burlington House Cartoon) was executed between 1501 and 1508 in charcoal on paper, with chalk highlights. It is housed in the National Gallery in London. Three generations of Christ’s family are present: Saint Anne balances her daughter, Mary, on her knee, while Mary holds on to her Son, who is turning toward Saint John. Leonardo never painted a version of this picture in oils.


  1495 -1508 The Virgin of the Rocks – London
74,6 x 47,2 in (189,5 x 120 cm) – oil on wood – National Gallery, London

This oil painting on a panel 74,6 x 47,2 in (189,5 x 120 cm) was executed between 1495 and 1508. It is conserved at the National Gallery in London. In 1785, it was sold to the artist, Gavin Hamilton, then changed ownership several times before becoming the property of the National Gallery in 1880. It comes from Leonardo’s studio, but by this time he was using his pupils to assist him. The cross resting on the shoulder of the Christ Child seems to have been painted at a later date, as does the halo. It was for financial reasons that Leonardo painted a second version of this work. While Leonardo was creating this painting, which had been commissioned by the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in Milan for “solum ducati XXV” (“only 15 ducats”), he received another offer of 100 ducats. So, whether for the much higher offer or because some of his work was rejected, Leonardo repainted this version which was eventually accepted almost ten years after the initial commission. It is also possible that the artist Giovan Antonio Boltraffio may have worked on the painting.


  1503 - 1514 Mona Lisa – La Gioconda
30,3 x 20,9 in (77 x 53 cm) – oil on poplar wood - Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Mona Lisa shows a woman with a thoughtful expression and a slightly smiling mouth. The painting, in oils on poplar wood, measures 30,3 x 20,9 in (77 x 53 cm). It was executed between 1503 and 1506. It is the principal attraction of the Louvre in Paris. The woman is probably Mona Lisa Gherardini, a courtesan from a country family of minor nobility, who lived around the end of the 15th/beginning of the 16th century.

“La Gioconda" is another matter entirely. It is not the painting by Leonardo da Vinci, but something dreamt up by the Press. “La Gioconda” – “the playful woman” – is the symbol of the Louvre, so greatly venerated and sought after that no one really looks closely at the painting. Much has been said about the smile and the unlikely mysteries it is supposed to hide, but these are nothing to do with this superb portrait of a lady.



1510 - 1513 Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
66,1 x 51,2 in (168 x 130 cm) – oil on wood – Musée du Louvre, Paris

This oil painting, of Saint Anne, Mary and Christ with a lamb, is in the Louvre and is badly damaged. The pleasing arrangement depicts Saint Anne and, beside her, the Madonna leaning toward the Child, who is holding onto a lamb.


  1510 - 1517 Bacchus - Saint John
69,7 x 45,3 in (177 x 115 cm) – tempera and oils on canvas – Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting in tempera and oils on a canvas 69,7 x 45,3 in (177 x 115 cm) was executed between 1510 and 1517. It is housed in the Louvre, Paris. According to some critics, the painting originally represented Saint John the Baptist in the desert. It seems that between 1683 and 1695 some elements traditionally associated with Bacchus were added: the crown of vine leaves, the panther skin and the bunch of grapes.


  1510 - 1517 Saint John the Baptist
27,2 x 22,4 in (69 x 57 cm) – oil on wood – Musée du Louvre, Paris

Saint John the Baptist is an oil painting on a panel 27,2 x 22,4 in (69 x 57 cm). It is held in the Louvre, Paris. The figure is surrounded by soft shadows. He has been mistaken for Bacchus because of the position of his head and the raised hand with index finger pointing upward, his half-turned body, flowing hair, rather mocking smile and the ambiguous sexual nature of the portrayal.



    The images are taken from web sources and freely available images. For each and every image, copyright, permission for commercial use and use of high resolution images must be sought from the respective museums and organizations that own the works. Descriptions and details of the works have been drawn from the extensive bibliography (see Books) and by the comparison of numerous texts.
Mario Taddei has contributed some personal comments.
One of the most important documents for the attribution of paintings to Leonardo is the Will of his pupil, Sali, who inherited most of the paintings.
The list gives rise to endless conjecture on the origins and attributions of the works and it is reproduced here in its entirety:

Milan State Archives, Legal Records, Notary Pietro Paolo Crevenna, file no. 8136.

In nomine domini anno a Natiuitate eiusedem millesimo quingentesimo vigessimo quinto Indictione tertiadecima die veneris primo mensis aprilis Cum decesserit morte violenta nunc quondam Johannes Jacobus de ca-protis de oppreno sictus Salay pictor vsque die xviiij januarij 1523 [1524] relictis post se dominabus Angelina et Laurentiola sororibus de caprotis de oppreno eius sororibus legiptimis et heredibus equis portionibus ac etiam relieta domina Blancha de anono eius vxore legiptima cuy ante eius obi-tum dotem constituerat librarum mille septemeentum Imp. cum promis-sionem eam dotem restituendi casu adueniente cum omnibus expensis dampnis et interesse prout plenius et latius dicitur constare instrumento superinde confecto rogato per d. Johannem petrum de carenano medio-lani notarium anno et die in eo contentis.
Cumque causa ey occaxione hereditatis predicte multe et varie differen-tie orte sint inter dictas sorores et prò eis agentes maxime m. thomam mapellum maritum diete d. laurentiole et prò ipsa d. laurentiola ex vna et Joh. antonium de pergamo ac Joh. mariam eius fratrem minorem ambo filios diete d. angeline et prò ipsa d. angelina ex alia occaxione diui-xionum fiendarum inter dictas soreres et prò eis agentes de bonis relic-tis pe d. nunc appellatimi Salay earum sororum fratrem in eius heredi-tate et bonis.
Tandem precibus amucorum interuenientibus precipue medio et laudabili opera infrascripti d. petri martiris boroni placuit dictis et Infrascrip-tis partibus debite refferendo a dictis littibus discedere ac deuenire prout deueniunt ad Infrascripta pacta conuentiones transactiones diuisiones et alia de quibus Infra inuiolabiliter attendenda obseruanda adimplenda et executioni mandanda ut infra videlicet prefata d. angela de caprotis de opreno fq d. petri et relieta quondam d. baptiste de pergamo et predicta d. laurentiola similiter de caprotis de opreno eius soror similiter fq dicti d. petri et vxor m. thome de mapello ex alia ambe prps satiri mediolani modis etiam quibus infra.
Voluntarie sponte deliberate et ex certa earum et utriusque earum scien-tia et non per aliquem errorem Iuris nec facti duete et alias omnibus modo Iure via causa et forma quibus melius potuerint et possunt. Inprimis conuenerunt et conueniunt per spetialem clausolam in exequ-tione presentis diuixionis quod omnia bona mobilia et inmobilia res et Iu-ra ac eredita et Iura relieta utsupra inter alia reperat Ibidem describantur ad effectus infrascriptos et que sunt hec videlicet.

Diamanti n. 2 de predo extimati _______________sc. 50 1. 252 s. 10 d.-
Smeraldo n. j extimato ______________________sc. 50 1. 252 s. 10 d.-
Jacinto n. extimato _________________________sc. 15 1. 75 s. 15 d.-
Agate n. j extimata _________________________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
Smeraldo pizinino n. j ______________________sc.-1. - s. - d.-
Agate de quatro teste n. j ____________________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
Agate de tre teste n. j _______________________sc-1. 60 s.- d.-
Camaino ligano [i. e. legato] innorro n. j _________sc-1. 60 s.- d.-
Camaino pizinino n. j extimato ________________sc. 4 1. 20 s. 4 d.-
Camaino n. j extimato ______________________sc. 10 1. 50 s. 10 d.-
Quadro dicto vna ledde n j ___________________sc. 200 1. 1010 s.- d.-
Quadro de S.ta anna n. j _____________________sc. 100 1. 505 s.- d.-
Quadro de vna dona aretrata n. 1 ______________1.- s.- d.-
_________________dicto la Joconda __________sc. 100 d. 505 s.- d.-
Quadro (dicto la honda C°) (cum vno Sto joh.G°)nj
Quadro cum vno (SA Johanne) Sto
(Jeronimo) Johanne g.° [i. e. grando] ___________sc. 80 d. 404 s. d.-
Quadro cum vno Sto hieronimo
grando no j sc. 40 1. 202 ____________________s.- d.-
Quadro cum vna meza nuda n j ______________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
Quadro cum vno hieronimo mezo nudo n. j __sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
Quadro cun vno Sto Johanne piz.
zouenon j _______________________________[sc.] 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
vno Christo in modo de vno dio padre __________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.-
Madona cum vno filiolo in brazo ______________sc. 20 1. 121 s.- d.-
vno Christo ala colona sie [?] non fornido _______[sc] 5 1. 25 s. 5 d.-

Item vno sedimine de caxa situato fora de porta horientale de milano cum soij edifitij terminata e choerentiata comò apare instrumento de compra rogato per il publico notaro per il prefato nunc quondam salay vale per rispecto alutile dominio et naturale possessione et melioramenti livre mille cento Imperiali [...]


n°j quadro dicto vna ledday ___________________________sc. 200 1 1010 s
n°j quadro de S.ta anna ______________________________sc. 100 1. 505 s. d.
n°j quadro de vna dona aretrata 1. s. d.
n°j quadro dicto la honda C ___________________________sc. 100 1. 505 s. d.
n°j quadro cum vno Johanne g[rand]o ________________sc. 80 1. 404 s. d.
n°j quadro cum vno hieronimo g ____________________sc. 401. 202 s. d.
n°j quadro cum vna meza nuda ________________________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.
n°j quadro cum vno Sto hieronimo mezonudo _____________sc 25 1. 120 s. 5 d.
n°j cum vno Sto Joanne piz. zoueno ____________________sc 25 1. 120 s. 5 d.
ncj christo in modo de vno dio patre ____________________sc. 25 1. 126 s. 5 d.
n°j madona cum vno filiolo in brazo ____________________sc 201. 101 s. d.
n°j christo ala cologna non fornido _____________________sc 5 1. 25 s. 5 d.


Leonardo 3, Virtual Paintings Project
About the paintings of the genius

Imagine history and culture seeing in a different way. "Leonardo_3" is an exposition that shows history and culture using advanced digital techniques. Ancient environments and object are rebuild, becoming digital. Turn back time, in the Milan Castle in the 1500: you can visit Leonardo Da Vinci laboratories and all his machines. 360° images, virtual tours, reconstructions of machines with exploded schemes, interactive software to understand how machines work.
"Leonardo_3" conveys you to the historical settings, objects, instruments and laboratories in which the most important technological inventions in the development of human history were conceived. The first, fundamental step is a virtual reality visit to the laboratories of Leonardo da Vinci, starting at the Sforza Castle in Milan. The whole presentation is achieved through the use of state-of-the-art computer graphics created from our research of authentic historical sources; all the reproductions, from the most famous objects such as “Leonardo’s Wings” to the most minute details are based on and are faithful to careful historical reconstructions. The public can now see with their own eyes, places that no longer exist; this is a new way of presenting history in a visual format. There are not only the inventions everyone has heard about, but also the smallest details that are often overlooked, yet so extremely important.


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20121 Milano, Italy
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