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What Did Leonardo Look Like?


Leonardo da Vinci - Self-Portrait, ca. 1512

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519). Self-Portrait, ca. 1512. Red chalk on paper. 33.3 x 21.3 cm (13 1/8 x 8 3/8 in).

© Biblioteca Reale, Turin
By all accounts, Leonardo was one of the few, the proud, the extremely handsome. (It's a happy, lucky combination of DNA when it happens, folks.) He knew it, and took advantage of it if a given situation lent itself to good looks being advantageous.

Maike Vogt-Lüerssen, a German-born Australian historian, has pondered whether or not the chalk drawing (above) is a self-portrait by Leonardo, or that of either his uncle (Francesco da Vinci) or father (Ser Piero da Vinci). To view her rationalization, follow this link to her article "A New Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci."

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