This exhibition investigates a virtually unknown period in the career of Leonardo, examining the claim of his first biographers that as a boy he was apprenticed to the sculptor, painter, and goldsmith Andrea del Verrocchio. While many of Verrochio’s sculptures in bronze and marble are today admired as iconic masterpieces of 15th-century Florentine art, scholars have never agreed on a list of surviving paintings that might be by him, or even whether any of them are by one artist alone. Consequently, previous attempts to determine what Leonardo might have learned from Verrocchio have rarely led to serious proposals to identify the younger painter’s earliest works.
This scholarly presentation, curated by Laurence Kanter, presents a number of works from Verrocchio’s workshop, including two important altarpiece panels on loan from the Louvre and the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, to argue that the role of the apprentice Leonardo has hitherto been overlooked. The exhibition also investigates the collaborative nature of the sculptures produced in the workshop, and includes three rarely studied works in marble, terracotta, and stucco, each with a reasonable claim to having been made by Verrocchio and illustrating different aspects of his reliance on pupils and assistants. Finally, two paintings are proposed as possible early works by Verrocchio, completing the hypothetical picture of the early careers of both the master and his illustrious pupil. Find out more about the Leonardo exhibition from the Yale University Art Gallery’s website.
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