Leonardo da Vinci – Virgin and Child with St. Anne (c. 1503)
Leonardo […] envisioned a female Trinity […] The angle of Mary’s knee points to the oval shape created by her arms. In the group of three feet, the one on the far left creates a mirror image of Mary’s right foot. Finally, in the heart of the construction, the curves of Mary’s body draw the angles toward an ellipse that points to Jesus, who completes the curve by turning his head. He is aided by the lamb, who reinforces this backward gaze […] [T]he Louvre canvas depicts the source of the history of Christianity as mutual mirror-effects.
– Julia Kristeva, New Maladies of the Soul (1995).
“If he is such an expert on Dante, let him lecture on Dante, to the Studiolo.”
Sogliato hissed the name as though it were the Inquisition.
“Let him face them extempore, next Friday if he can.”
The Studiolo, named for an ornate private study, was a small, fierce group of scholars who had ruined a number of academic reputations and met often in the Palazzo Vecchio. Preparing for them was regarded as a considerable chore, appearing before them a peril.