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Virgin and Child with St. Anne
and the Infant St. John, 1966

In creating his image, Virgin and Child with St. Anne and the Infant St. John, 1966, Frederick Sommer positioned a single found object on a simple background, an illustration from a small book. Sommer found the melted metal object, in the 1940ís, hanging from the dash of a burnt out car. The illustration was a loose page given to him in 1966 by a young man, who had been assisting Sommer on the weekends.

Object dimensions,
4.25 x 3.25 x .875 inches / 10.8 x 8.3 x 2.2 cm
Illustration dimensions,
6.375 x 4.6875 inches / 16.2 x 11.9 cm

In this proof, made before 1966, the found object was placed in the cavity of a cement cast mold. Sommer never considered this interpretation a success. According to the story he told late in his life, his first thought was he could trump Henry Moore with one image. It was not until 1966, when the book illustration was put in front of him, that the connection to the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci was revealed. To see an illustration go to National Gallery, London for the 'Leonardo Cartoon'

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