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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Recto: A copse of trees. Verso: A tree c.1500-10

Red chalk | 19.1 x 15.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912431

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Recto: a drawing of the edge of a copse of birches. Verso: a study of a single tree, with a few sprays of undergrowth; below are notes on the drawing of trees. A section of Leonardo’s proposed Treatise on Painting was to deal with the fall of light on leaves. This delicate study of a tree - perhaps a young elm - is accompanied by a note that discusses the different appearance of leaves in sunlight and in shadow.