Artist: Leonardo Da Vinci
Size: 33 x 21 cm
The portrait of a man in red chalk in the Biblioteca Reale, Turin, (circa 1510) is widely accepted as a self portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. It is thought that Leonardo da Vinci drew this self-portrait at about the age of 60. The portrait has been extensively reproduced and has become an iconic representation of Leonardo as polymath or "Renaissance Man". The portrait is drawn in red chalk on paper. It depicts the head of an elderly man in three-quarter view, turned towards the right. The subject is distinguished by his long hair and long waving beard which flow over the shoulders and breast. The length of the hair and beard is uncommon in Renaissance portraits and suggests, as now, a person of sagacity. The face has a somewhat aquiline nose and is marked by deep lines on the brow and pouches below the eyes. The upper teeth appear to be missing, causing deepening of the grooves from the nostrils. The eyes of the figure do not engage the viewer but gaze ahead, veiled by the long eyebrows, with a sense of solemnnity or disillusionment. If this is indeed a self portrait of Leonardo then this attitude may reflect the fact that at this time his career was largely behind him, and artistic fashion was beginning to leave him behind.
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