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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Two grotesque profiles c.1485-90

RCIN 912490

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Grotesque faces fascinated Leonardo, and throughout his life he drew images of ‘ideal ugliness’ in the pursuit of satire, caricature, or simply base humour. Here a fierce old man faces a vain old woman in a tightly laced bodice. As an afterthought, Leonardo sketched in the right arm of the woman, her hand to the man’s chin in a romantic gesture, to turn them into a pair of aged lovers.