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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Sketches of a woman, bust length c.1490

RCIN 912513

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Leonardo filled the page with 18 rapid sketches of his model, in two basic positions. One of the last studies, at centre left, is in the pose of his portrait of Ludovico Sforza’s mistress, Cecilia Gallerani, known as A Lady with an Ermine. Leonardo is trying to capture the spontaneity and vivacity that characterises that painting.