Studies for the head of Leda

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  • Studies for the head of Leda
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Title

Studies for the head of Leda
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Subject

mythology (Classical); portrait; hairstyles; braids; plaits

Description

The mythical Leda was seduced by Jupiter in the form of a swan. Leonardo worked on two compositions of the subject, finally executing a painting that was destroyed in the eighteenth century. In the four surviving studies of Leda's head, Leonardo expended little effort on her expression, simply adopting the usual downward glance; in the central two drawings he may even have left the face blank, for the faces there are of poor quality and may have been 'filled in' by a pupil. Instead Leonardo devoted all his attention to the most complicated of hairstyles, with dense whorls and woven plaits, even studying the head from the back--quite unnecessarily for a painted image.

Creator

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian artist, 1452-1519)

Source

Description: Royal Collection, United Kingdom [website]; http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/

Date

ca. 1505-1506 (creation)

Contributor

Fredlund, William

Rights

William Fredlund

Format

Ink over black chalk on paper
20 cm (height) x 16.2 cm (width)

Type

drawing (visual work)

Identifier

leon099.jpg

Coverage

Windsor Castle (Windsor, England, United Kingdom) RL 12516; Royal Library. Bequeathed to Francesco Melzi; probably acquired by Charles II; in the Royal Collection by 1690.
Renaissance

Files

Citation

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian artist, 1452-1519), “Studies for the head of Leda,” Institute Images Online, accessed June 19, 2018, http://westerncivart.com/items/show/2941.

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