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Leonardo da Vinci, Virgin of the Rocks (1495-1508)

Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, the version that is displayed in London’s National Gallery, is one of those paintings that do not seize your notice at first blush, but- once you stare at them long enough- seep into your consciousness by degrees, engendering in you a peculiar sensation that no other sort can possibly surpass. In the painting, the divine figures are huddled together against a rocky background. Virgin Mary, situates in the centre of the pyramidal ensemble, raises a hand above the head of the Child and stretches another to pull in slightly Saint John the Baptist, who is in the painting also an infant. It is this assertion of authority that is proper to all exemplary parents- a combination of grace and supremacy- that left in me an indelible mark, evoking the exact sort of persona I’m always aspiring to become- not just as a mother but a distinct character that I’d like be remembered by- in the near, possible future. “A practice of the power of gentleness” is my summation for the painting- with conscientious effort and reasonable ability, prowess is attainable; to enter into the realm of the truly powerful one is required first to master the art of poise and patience- the two qualities that are often regarded the decisive factors of one’s success or fall- and ultimately one is metamorphosed into a tree, with a void in its core or sometimes a stone. The few of them who sustain all manner of pain and trials- whilst still abiding by the dictates of their admirable virtues- throughout a prolonged period of suffering might ascend finally to the stage of the divine. All mothers are in the league of the divinity.


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