Gian Pietro Rizzi called Giampietrino (working in Milan from cca. 1508 to 1553) - inv. 1637
The Virgin Mary holds Baby Jesus who has a white flower symbolising purity in his hand. Mother and son exchange a serious glance, veiled in melancholy, a presage of his Crucifixion.
The composition is Leonardesque in the pyramidal arrangement of the two figures, in the Virgin’s long fingers and in the Child’s twisting movement.
Early in his career, Giampietrino was influenced almost exclusively by Leonardo. The back of this painting shows an icosadodecahedron, a polyhedron with twelve regular pentagons and twenty equilateral triangles. This complex solid appeared in the drawings of Leonardo’s “Codex Atlanticus” and was reproduced in De divina proportione (On the divine proportions), the mathematical treatise by Luca Pacioli in 1509.
The Poldi Pezzoli Museum’s painting, datable to between 1510 and 1515, confirms the artist’s loyalty to his master’s ideas.: the combination of the two subjects, a sacred and a geometrical one, is curious and unusual and reveals Giampietrino’s cultural updating and his familiarity with Leonardo’s scientific studies.