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Studies for the Christ Child with a Lamb (recto); Head of an Old Man, and Studies of Machinery (verso)

Leonardo da Vinciabout 1503 - 1506

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Using pen and ink and chalk, Leonardo da Vinci drew a child and a lamb several times, trying out different poses for the figures. He may have begun with the smaller and more freely sketched study in the upper right. He then drew the figures again below, changing the angle of the child and the sheep's face. Lastly, he drew the more elaborate study at the bottom left, in which the legs are posed with greater complexity and the child leans back on the lamb.

Leonardo probably made the drawing in preparation for a painting of the Virgin and Child with Saint John, now lost but known through copies. He inscribed some notes unrelated to the drawing at the top of the sheet in his characteristic backwards writing, legible only with the help of a mirror.

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  • Title: Studies for the Christ Child with a Lamb (recto); Head of an Old Man, and Studies of Machinery (verso)
  • Creator: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Date: about 1503 - 1506
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 21 x 14.1 cm (8 1/4 x 5 9/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk, pen and brown ink
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.GG.725
  • Markings: Markings: (Recto) at lower left corner, collection mark of Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445).
  • Inscription: Inscription: (Recto) inscribed "jicipit liber.endaborum.assauasorda.judeo inebraicho coposit[us] et a platone/tiburtinj inlatin sermone translat[us] anno. arabu.dx. mse sap h ar/capi tulu pimu ingeometrice arihmetrice (p) vnyversalia proposita:" and "franco.o dif." by Leonardo in brown ink; (verso) inscribed "vedj la testa de[llo] alto vitj sella tenvto il fermo/essapi dal caiano/il zendato invernjca[to e] stacciatovi.suso la cimatura conuarj colori/a vso dj gianbelletto.e altre opere.regie allacqa.essimilmente. sidebbe.f[a]/re.da potere.rimecter[e]/il polo.quando.fussi.ch[o]/summato/[Figura] polo. (s) rimessibile" by Leonardo in brown ink.
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings

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