LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Study of St Anne, Mary, the Christ Child and the young St John1501-06
Lead pencil, pen and ink on paper
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
The first idea of this composition featuring St Anne was that the Christ Child and St Anne would both be bending down to the lamb. Leonardo also conceived Anne in a second position, with her head leaning towards Mary, though her hand is still resting on the neck of the lamb. Behind the group he placed a landscape that does not yet have the form of that in the Louvre painting. The compositional sketch precedes the sheet with the compositional sketches for the Burlington House Cartoon.