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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

An allegory with a dog and an eagle c.1508-10

RCIN 912496

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Leonardo’s most highly finished chalk drawing is probably an allegory of devotion to the king of France, depicted as a glorious eagle bestriding the earth. The dog symbolises faithfulness; the fixed compass in turbulent waters is essentially the same as the central emblem in the drawing to the left. Only the tree-mast is mysterious, perhaps a personal device of the unknown patron.