DATE: 1501



He is believed to be the Secretary of State for the French King Louis XII.

~ Leonardo Da Vinci Madonna of the Yarnwinder! ~

:Baby Jesus with his mother, Mary.

This painting is a copy of Leonardo’s painting produced by one or more of his apprentices.


The subject of this painting is rich in symbolism.

Firstly the yarnwinder (the item the baby Jesus Christ is playing with) shares the shape of the crucifixion cross, the main symbol of Christianity.

Secondly, the yarnwinder is was a symbol of homeliness, possibly a message predominantly for women to keep them domesticated.

Lastly, the ‘spinners’ in classic mythology is another term for fate. A Yarn-winders’ purpose is to spin and thus is a pun on the word spinner. The shape of the yarn-winder is a fore-boding symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that will occur in the future.

TYPE: Oils on Poplar wood

SIZE: 50.2 × 36.4 cm’s


Leonardo paints in detail a rock on which the child Jesus plays with the Yarnwinder. The rock shows the geological sediment layers formed over millions of years, and which reflect Da Vinci’s studies of geology and the age of the Earth. This is particularly interesting as the doctrine of the Church, which the painting symbolises, is greatly at odds with the geological age of the Earth.


A private collection in New York, USA.


Geological and sediment rock has been developed further from the Virgin of the Rocks painting.

The background of this painting, which shows a landscape of nature, is reminiscent of the Mona Lisa painting that Leonardo Da Vinci will paint in the future.


If the painting looked the way the copy does has not been validated.

There is evidence by the way of a letter that Leonardo created a painting called ‘MADONNA OF THE YARNWINDER ‘.

As this painting comes from Leonardo’s workshop, it is likely that his apprentices would have used his original as the basis if this were not the original.

Other Leonardo Da Vinci Paintings:

Leonardo Da Vinci Adoration of the Magi

Leonardo Da Vinci Painting St John the Baptist!

Leonardo Da Vinci Painting St Jerome!

Leonardo Da Vinci – Interesting Facts about Mona Lisa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *