National Geographic : 1956 Nov
© National Geographic Society 649 National Gallery of Art (Kress Collection) LEONARDO (?) (about 1475), Florentine * Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate So many painters of first rank worked in Florence in the last half of the 15th century that critics are often baffled in trying to identify specific paintings of the masters taught by Andrea del Verrocchio. Many believe that this gem, shown slightly enlarged, is the work of Leonardo da Vinci. If so, it may well be his earliest preserved painting. One story relates that he carried it in his tunic as a sample to show to pope and prince. The hand-held red pomegranate, barely visible against the red dress, symbolizes the unity of the church.