Caricature of a Man with Bushy Hair

Object Details

Title:

Caricature of a Man with Bushy Hair

Artist/Maker(s):

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452 - 1519)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1495

Medium:

Pen and brown ink

Dimensions:

6.6 x 5.4 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in.)

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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.

Exhibitions
North Italian Drawings of the 15th through the 17th Century (July 27 to October 10, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 27 to October 10, 1993
The Earl and Countess of Arundel: Renaissance Collectors (May 2, 1995 to October 1, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 2 to October 1, 1995
Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman (January 21 to July 14, 2003) (69; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al.)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), January 21 to March 30, 2003
Casting Characters: Portraits and Studies of Heads (November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004) (69; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006) (69; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008) (69; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008
Hatched! Creating Form with Line (March 11 to June 1, 2014) (69; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 11 to June 1, 2014
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Historical Witness, Social Messaging

Additional works of art related to the themes and topics of the curriculum.