verso

Bust of a man in profile with proportions, study of a horse and riders.

Leonardo da Vinci

Author
Leonardo da Vinci
(Vinci 1452 - Amboise 1519)
Title
Bust of a man in profile with proportions, study of a horse and riders.
Catalogue
236

DISPLAY AND CONSERVATION

To avoid deterioration, the drawing must be conserved in a light- and temperature-controlled environment. For this reason, drawings and prints are not always on permanent display.

BUST OF A MAN IN PROFILE WITH PROPORTIONS, STUDY OF A HORSE AND RIDERS

This extraordinary drawing, on both recto and verso of the sheet contains two distinct yet central themes to Leonardo’s drawing and research. The magnificent swirling figures in the lower part of the sheet are sketches for the Battle of Anghiari, perhaps related to the Galloping and Kicking Horses from the Royal Collection at Windsor (inv. 12340), which is also in red chalk and thus dating from 1503–1505. The two male profiles, however, are similar to the numerous studies that Leonardo made on human proportions, including the most celebrated example, Vitruvian Man, housed in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. As recent studies have shown, Leonardo’s study of the ideal measurements of a body were not limited to the theories of Vitruvius but also included knowledge of the work of Euclid and Leon Battista Alberti. Interestingly Leonardo has not depicted a young man in his prime on this sheet but, in his tireless search for realism, he has drawn two profiles which clearly show the ravages of time.

NOTICE

Due to ongoing restoration work, the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings is temporarily closed for consultation until further notice.

Due to ongoing restoration work, the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings is temporarily closed for consultation until further notice.