Mobile menu
Our sites are currently closed, but you can browse the Collection or shop online. More info
Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Recto: A branched bur-reed. Verso: A bullrush c.1506-12

RCIN 912430

Your share link is...


Leonardo’s painting of Leda and the Swan was to have a foreground rich in plants and flowers, and his studies for the painting soon led him to study botany as a subject in its own right. Here Leonardo draws the seedheads of the bur-reed with a precision far beyond what was needed for a painting, and indeed his botanical drawings are more sophisticated than those in any contemporary herbal.