This painting by da Vinci, recently attributed to him after extensive restoration, is a rare and (I think) beautiful example of his outstanding talent as a painter. A little detail in this work that I find particularly interesting is da Vinci’s inclusion of what art historians have called “Leonardo’s Knots.” Żygulsky identifies three distinct types of knot motifs used repeatedly by da Vinci, including “double loops in figure-of-eight form repeated in an endless system” (1). A similar design is visible in the the three flourishes beneath the oval-shaped stone and semi-circular surrounding band at the centre of Christ’s chest. da Vinci used the same lemniscate-shaped knots in the black band on the collar of Cecilia Gallerani’s dress in Lady with an Ermine from 1489-1490 (2). The symmetrical gold design on Christ’s blue robe is also similar to the gold on red banding in Lady with an Ermine, the geometric designs on the angel’s sleeve in the National Gallery Virgin of the Rocks(between 1491 and 1508), and along the collar of the Mona Lisa (1503-1506).
Jerzy Kosalka, 1955, Poland. “Good-bye Ladies and Gentlemen”, 2004.
Lady with an Ermine has become an inspiration for a work with an ironic take… The juxtaposition of the young woman and an animal in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting has led to numerous interpretations of the work. One of the most popular is that the ermine represents Ludovico Sforza, the lover of the lady in the painting. Jerzy Kosalka has freed the animal from having to play the role of an interpretative pointer.