It is likely that the Benois Madonna was the first work painted by Leonardo independently from his master Verrocchio. There are two of preliminary sketches for this piece in the British Museum, although the painting was probably overpainted by other hands.
The preliminary sketches and the painting itself suggest that Leonardo was concentrating on the idea of sight. The child is thought to be guiding his mother's hands into his central vision.
The Lady with an Ermine is a portrait painting widely attributed to da Vinci. Its subject is Cecilia Gallerani, a mistress of Ludovico Sforza («Il Moro»), Duke of Milan.
Leonardo was painter to the Sforza court at the time of its execution. It is one of only four surviving portraits of women painted by Leonardo, the others being Ginevra de' Benci, La Belle Ferronniere and the Monna Lisa.