OIL PAINTING: Madonna Litta, 1490
Madonna Litta is one of the great paintings by Leonardo da Vinci.
This work was painted sometime in the 1480s for the Visconti rulers of Milan and soon passed to the Litta family, in whose possession it would remain for centuries. In 1865, Alexander II of Russia acquired it from Count Litta, quondam minister to St Petersburg, and deposited the painting in the Hermitage Museum, where it has been exhibited to this day. The painting was briefly featured in the 2006 film The Da Vinci Code.