SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This is one of a number of preparatory studies of the head of Leda that Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) made c. 1505-1507. He considered two versions of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. The finished painting he produced was highly valued at the time but now no longer exists. Versions of Leda's coiffure appear in four of the studies and, in a note on one of sketches, Leonardo reveals the use of a detachable wig in the elaborately plaited hair.
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