Click image to zoom

Download this image
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

The head of an old bearded man in profile


Creator: Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Materials and techniques: 
Black chalk
25.3 x 18.2 cm
RL 12500
P(L) 379
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 the head of an old man, bald, with a hooked nose and a flowing beard, turned in profile to the left

Leonardo drew heads in profile throughout his career, not as studies for paintings but as independent drawings. This must be one of his final such sheets, made at the very end of his life as his physical powers were waning: an old bearded man himself, he cannot have been oblivious to an element of self-portraiture or even self-caricature in the drawing.

Further details

Unframed Drawings / Watercolours