I found this Madonna and child on the
Internet as a thumbnail. As it did appear a very elegant pictorial
construction I adopted it as a background in one of my computers.
So I kept scanning it with my eyes when the computer was hovering
on its jobs. I discovered an inconsistent detail in the picture,
a little square stick emerging from the breast of the Madonna.
It was not part of the cloth or else, just a piece of wood.
I got curious and tried to locate where the painting was.
After a year of search I found it was at the National Gallery
in London. As my analyses are usually done on fine details
I asked the gallery for an A4 picture of good quality. After
a year or so I got the picture.
The stick did appear in all its sinister
meaning, I did remember having seen something similar as a
child when pigs were killed. It did look as the handle of
the "spillo" a sort of nail that was inserted in
the hearth of the pigs. The detailed picture did even show
the hand screw that is necessary to fix the iron to the wood.
The Madonna had been killed in a barbarian and Tuscan way.
The painting is attributed to some follower
of Leonardo, but the gesture of killing the mother is more
attributable to him in person. He did hate his mother because
she didnot prevent, or perhaps even favoured, the abuse on
him by the band of five. In fact as the Madonnas painted by
Leonardo automatically represent his mother he often punished
them by chopping a finger or two and putting insects in their
mouths. I was not shocked by the discovery, but rather pleased
to have found another Leonardo hanging in a prestigious museum.
Tthings moved further when a nephew of
mine, tall and with sharp eyes, came to visit me. He was standing
behind me and from his angle of view the computer screen enhances
the reds. "Look, look" he said "there is blood
dripping along the back of the child Jesus".
He was right, there was in fact blood
everywhere astutely hidden by letting it flow in the darker
parts of the painting where the eye has a reduced discrimination
for colors. All the blood of the Madonna can be found somewhere
in pools and drippings, and soaked clothes. The Madonna is
obviously dead as it is the child. A large edema on his left
temple leaves little hope. Leonardo was extremely attentive
in confirming his messages. A careful search with the help
of the computer did show that the two are wrapped in spider
webs. Spiders are very active but the two must have been immobile
in that position for hours: they are dead. It is incredible
how Leonardo did depict beauty and vitality, when seen from
a distance, but death marks are evident at short range.