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Pietro da Novellara wrote an Isabell d'Este in a letter from 1501: "... a Madonna sitting there as if she was going to wind a spindle, and the child, the foot in a spindle basket, has the spindle must and look at the four rays that the cross is supposed to represent. As if it longs for the cross, it laughs and holds the spindle so tight that the mother cannot take it away. “ Em> p>
From the description in Pietro da Novellara's letter, we know that a spindle basket must be visible in the painting. In the two paintings of Leonardo da Vinci that exist today, however, no spindle basket can be seen. Therefore one speaks of two copies, the original is considered lost. One copy hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, the other is part of a New York private collection. It is believed that the two copies were made by two students of Leonardo da Vicis.
A sketch of the painting titled "Leonardo da Vinci, Study of Madonna with the Yarnwinder" is kept in the Venetian Museum Gallerie dell L 'Accademia.
On August 27, 2003, the artwork was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland. Tourists watched two people climb over the castle walls with a work of art after the alarm sounded. The two people shouted to the amazed tourists: "Don't worry, this is just a sample for an emergency!". A few weeks later, the picture was seized on October 4, 2007 during a raid by the British police in Glasgow.