CESARE da Sesto
(b. 1477, Sesto Calende, d. 1523, Milano)

Madonna and Child with the Lamb of God

c. 1515
Oil on panel, 37 x 30 cm
Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan

This painting is a variant of Leonardo's Virgin and Child with St Anne in the Louvre. Cesare completely recomposed the landscape, transforming it in an appealing, fairy-tale way, far removed from the disquieting barrenness of Leonardo's version.

Cesare da Sesto's version, which turns the group of figures into a Madonna of Humility through the omission of St Anne's figure, seems to be based on Leonardo's definitive, painted version, as the ample folds of the drapery around the Virgin's waist attest. In the painting Cesare created a synthesis by melding Leonardo's compositional solutions and Raphael's Roman style.