Caricature of a Man with Bushy Hair

Leonardo da Vinciabout 1495

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

According to artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci was "so delighted when he saw curious heads, whether bearded or hairy, that he would follow anyone who had thus attracted his attention for a whole day, acquiring such a clear idea of him that when he went home he would draw the head as well as if the man had been present."

Leonardo depicted the man's hair with his characteristic sfumato. The hatching lines slant downward from left to right, running in the natural direction for the left-handed artist. He made this caricature as one of a large series of head studies created in pairs. Years after the artist's death, collectors cut the pairs into individual drawings. Many later artists admired and copied Leonardo's caricatures, both in drawings and prints.

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  • Title: Caricature of a Man with Bushy Hair
  • Creator: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Date: about 1495
  • Physical Dimensions: 6.6 x 5.4 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.GA.647
  • Markings: Markings: At bottom left, partial collection mark of Nicholas A. Flinck (L.959).
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings


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