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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The head of a youth in profile c.1517-18

RCIN 912557

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A drawing of the head and shoulders of a boy, his head turned in profile to the left. He has heavy regular features, and curly hair. Like many of Leonardo's bust-length studies, the shoulders here are turned in three-quarters view while the head remains in strict profile. The profile type is that of the Roman Emperor Nero transmitted to the Renaissance through coins and medals. The delicacy of the black chalk suggests that it is one of Leonardo's latest drawings, executed during his final residence at the French court in the Loire Valley. Text adapted from 'Leonardo da Vinci: the Divine and the Grotesque'