Profile of a man and study of two riders (c.1497; Milan, Italy) by Leonardo da Vinci

Profile of a man and study of two riders - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1497; Milan, Italy

Artwork Information

TitleProfile of a man and study of two riders
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec.1497; Milan, Italy
Dimensions27.9 x 22.3 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance

About Profile of a man and study of two riders

The artwork titled “Profile of a man and study of two riders” is a creation of the eminent High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated around the year 1497, during da Vinci’s time in Milan, Italy. This sketch presents an intriguing composition executed with chalk and ink on paper and measures approximately 27.9 by 22.3 centimeters. As a typical practice of Leonardo, the piece serves both as a study of human anatomy and as an exploration of dynamic equestrian movement, indicative of his ceaseless pursuit of knowledge and artistic mastery.

Upon examining the artwork, one is immediately drawn to the detailed profile of a man occupying the upper portion of the sheet. The contours of the man’s face are exquisitely sketched with precision, demonstrating Leonardo’s profound understanding of anatomy and his meticulous technique. The side profile reveals the bone structure, muscle outlines, and features of the face with clarity, capturing a remarkable sense of depth and dimension.

Below, the artwork reveals the vigorous activity of two riders, each engaged in controlling their own spirited horse. These sketches embody a sense of energy and motion, illustrating the interaction between human and animal with swift, fluid lines. Notably, these figures are rendered with less definition compared to the detailed profile above, possibly suggesting that they are preliminary studies for a larger composition or an exploration of movement.

Lastly, the background of the artwork is adorned with faded script, a testament to Leonardo’s habit of annotating his observations and thoughts directly beside his visual studies, thereby revealing the intertwined nature of his artistic and intellectual endeavors.

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