This mastercopy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Madonna of the Carnation” pays homage to the original composition while introducing distinct elements that differentiate it from the original High Renaissance work. Notably, the addition of halos in the mastercopy, which were not present in da Vinci’s painting, adds a traditional symbol of sanctity to the figures of the Virgin and Child. This choice reflects a divergence from da Vinci’s more subtle approach to divinity, where holiness was often implied through gesture and expression rather than explicit iconography.

A Mastercopy of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Madonna of the Carnation"

The rendering of the Madonna and Child captures the serene and introspective mood characteristic of da Vinci’s work. The Madonna’s gaze is soft and her interaction with the Child is tender, a portrayal that resonates with the original’s exploration of the human and divine connection. The carnation, a symbol steeped in Christian iconography representing the Passion, is held delicately, maintaining its symbolic role as in the original.

Madonna of the Carnation after Leonardo da Vinci KUNSTHUIS Andre Middelburg


The use of chiaroscuro, a technique perfected during the Renaissance and notably employed by da Vinci, is evident here, with the gentle play of light and shadow adding depth and volume to the figures. However, capturing the sfumato technique, a hallmark of da Vinci’s style characterized by the soft, smoky gradations that unify the composition, presents a challenge.

Madonna of the Carnation, after Leonardo da Vinci

In terms of composition, the mastercopy artist has endeavored to replicate the sense of balance and harmony that da Vinci achieved. The background in this copy, while suggesting depth through the depiction of the windows, may not have the atmospheric quality that da Vinci was renowned for, but it still provides a context that anchors the figures in a believable space.

Madonna of the Carnation, after Leonardo da Vinci

The addition of the halos may be seen as a step towards a more conventional ecclesiastical depiction of religious figures, aligning with certain periods of religious art that favored overt symbols of sanctity. This choice stands out as a significant reinterpretation in the context of da Vinci’s more humanistic and naturalistic depiction of religious themes.

Enduring legacy of da Vinci’s work

Overall, this mastercopy serves not only as a study of da Vinci’s techniques and compositional mastery but also as a personal interpretation by the copyist. It highlights the enduring legacy of da Vinci’s work while showcasing the individuality of the artist who engages in the timeless dialogue between replication and reinterpretation.

This is a mastercopy created around 1970. Oil on linen, laid on wood.

Splendid hand made golden frame makes this a masterpiece for your house or office!


  • Size (h w d): 70 x 54 cm
  • Medium: Oil
  • Framed Size (h w d): 91 x 75 x 7 cm

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