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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

The chain ferry at Vaprio d'Adda


Creator: Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Materials and techniques: 
Pen and ink
10.0 x 12.8 cm
RL 12400
P(L) 51
Acquirer: Charles II, King of Great Britain (1630-85)
Bequeathed to Francesco Melzi; from whose heirs purchased by Pompeo Leoni, c.1582-90; Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, by 1630; Probably acquired by Charles II; Royal Collection by 1690

A drawing of a bird's-eye view of a broad river with a ferry in the foreground. On the right is a bank with a landing-stage on wheels pushed out into the water. Beyond, the river winds among fields and trees. There is no suggestion of a horizon.

This tiny, detailed drawing shows the river Adda by the Villa Melzi outside Milan, the family home of one of Leonardo’s pupils, where Leonardo stayed during 1512-13. The swirling currents of the water are as closely observed as the minute details of the rocky and wooded landscape.

Further details

Unframed Drawings / Watercolours