Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)
Portrait of a young woman in profile c.1490
Metalpoint on pale buff prepared paper | 32.0 x 20.0 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912505
A drawing of the head and shoulders of a girl, turned in profile to the right, wearing a cap on the back of her head
Leonardo executed several portrait paintings during his career. This beautiful drawing of a young woman may have been a study for a lost painting, or a finished work in its own right. The portrait was clearly drawn directly from the life, and there is a remarkably wide range of handling of the metalpoint, from the free sweeping outlines of the bust and flowing layers of loose hair to the very restrained modelling of the face.
ProvenanceBequeathed 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
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