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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The head of a bearded man in profile c.1517-18

Black chalk | 17.8 x 13.0 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912553

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A drawing of the head of a man turned in profile to the right. He has heavy regular features, a slight beard and thick curly hair. Throughout his career Leonardo made carefully-finished studies of male heads in profile, often without any obvious purpose. Many of these were based on the heads on ancient Roman coins and medals, but here the curled hair shows an interest in elaborate patterning that was typical of Leonardo’s art. Text adapted from 'Leonardo da Vinci: the Divine and the Grotesque'