Two years ago the viewer had the unique opportunity to compare the most mysterious couple of paintings in the world. Two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci with the same name ” The Virgin of the Rocks” were exhibited in the London National Gallery. The earlier variant of the painting was created during the period from the 1483 to 1486 belongs to the collection of the Louvre and the later version dated 1490- 1508 is stored in the British National Gallery.

The both paintings have the similar composition and depict the Holy Virgin, Johann the Baptist, the Christ Child and the Angel. According to The ArtInfo the specialists still can’t say for sure why did the master create the two identical paintings. The first version was ordered by the Franciscan Brotherhood of the Holy Immaculate Conception, but the historians and the specialists in the master’s biography say that Leonardo da Vinci didn’t manage to arrange the piece of the work. He wanted his picture to cost more as he was aware that it would be a masterpiece. The Virgin of the Rocks was the first painting by da Vinchi of such level. As a result he sold his picture to the private collection in 1492. The Virgin of the Rocks was returned to France only in the seventeenth century.

The second picture also was to become the property of the Franciscan Brotherhood, but it couldn’t be completed for a long time. In 1991 Ludovico Sforza was disbarred and Leonardo da Vinci left Milan. An only in the beginning of the sixteenth century the master completed his painting when he was back to Italy.

In 2010 the scientists reported that Leonardo da Vinci is the single author of “The Virgin of the Rocks”. Earlier it was supposed that the later painting was created with the help of his apprentices. In the year 2011 the picture was totally restored.