Head of Leda by Leonardo da Vinci, 1505


Sforzesco Castle, Milan


In this red pencil drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, kept in the Sforzesco Castle, we find all the grace of the feminine. The portrait was a preparatory study for Leonardo's painting "Leda with the Swan", unfortunately lost at the end of the 17th century.


The kindness of the woman's features and the enigmatic expression of the smile, typically Leonardo's style, go hand in hand with the extreme care with which some details are drawn, such as the hair styled in numerous small braids.

The tenderness of the gaze can be explained by observing a variant of the original painting by a pupil of Leonardo, preserved in the Uffizi in Florence, in which the woman looks at her little children just born from the encounter with Jupiter in the form of a swan: the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, and the sisters Elena and Clytemnestra.

Today we can admire all the beauty of this little jewel by Leonardo, after the last restoration in 2013, at the Sforza’s Castle in Milan, a work that enriches the vast panorama of Milan's art.

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