The three figures communicate with each other in silence while the angel acts as a heavenly witness to the scene. A haze over the water suggests its warmth — a fetid pool, ripe with the promise of life. Personal Opinion : I have seen both of these paintings and don't really have a favourite, although the London version seems to be more tightly finished than the one in the Louvre, I like them both. The chapel that the altarpiece was destined for was in the church of San Francesco Grande, a Franciscan convent in Milan. In keeping with their conservative handling of Leonardo's works, the Louvre version has not undergone significant restoration or cleaning.
Its presence in the French royal collection is attested from, but several clues suggest it may have been acquired much earlier. Surviving documents that date to the early s tell us that Leonardo and Ambrogio de Predis were in dispute with the confraternity about payment for their pictures; they were asking for more money than originally agreed because the materials had turned out to be more expensive than estimated. Our panel, begun about a decade after the first version, has been painted in a significantly different style. In he left Milan for Florence to escape the turbulence caused by the French invasion of the city. How's that for sitting on the fence?