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The Grotesque

Leonardo drew grotesque figures throughout his life, but most date to the years around 1490, counterparts to his studies of human proportion from the same period. By deliberately distorting those ideals of beauty, Leonardo could create images of ‘ideal ugliness’ in the pursuit of satire, caricature, or simple base humour.

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Two grotesque profiles confronted

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A satire on aged lovers

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A bald fat man with a broken nose in profile