This reproduction of the Madonna and Child in a Jasmine Bower shows Mary and Baby Jesus next to a jasmine bush, holding a branch with cherries between the two of them. The white jasmine flowers represent their purity, while the branch of red cherries represents the bloody sacrifice of Christ's passion, and the sweetness of both of their characters. Their fixed gaze upon one another is a sign of their unity of of mind. The fact that they are holding the branch together shows their unity of will in facing the suffering before them, and in laboring for the salvation of man.
The artist Francesco Melzi (1491-1568/70) was Leonardo da Vinci's closest and most distinguished pupil and the two cared for one another as if they were father and son. As can be seen from the style of the painting, Francesco's work mirrored Leonardo's very closely. Due to Francesco's piety, and their close relation, Leonardo's increase in devotion to the Catholic faith later in life is attributed to him. He cared for Da Vinci in his old age, and his manuscripts and works were left in his care after death. After Leonardo's death, he codified his works into the "Codex Urbinas", married, and had eight children. Not much else is known about him.
Image dimensions are 13"x19"
( PRI-4125 )