Thursday, September 11, 2014


This album, bound sometime between 1580 and 1600, originally contained drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, assembled by Pompeo Leoni. It became a prized part of the Royal Collection centuries ago, a kingly acquisition. For better preservation, the drawings are now housed separately from the binding. Below is a sample of what the album once contained. The sheets date from 1485 when Leonardo was in his early thirties, up to 1518, the year before he died at age 67. Most are studies for details that later appeared in paintings, but some are investigations of the natural world (or fantasies of the natural world) seemingly made for their own sake.

c. 1500-10

c. 1517-18

c. 1517-18

c. 1485-90

c. 1508-10

ca. 1495

c. 1515-17

c. 1510-15

c. 1495

c. 1505-10

c. 1517-18

c. 1505-06