A seated old man and four studies of swirling water c1510-13

On this sheet as unfolded, an aged man now appears in relation to a series of studies concerning the flow of water.

On the right of the sheet, Leonardo studies the effects of various obstacles on the flow of water, which in each case produces a series of curvilinear inter-facings not unlike the spirals of hair.

On the left of the sheet, an elderly man is shown seated in profile in a landscape setting, staring ahead in melancholic contemplation. Given that the sheet was originally folded down the centre, it is difficult to establish the nature of the relationship between the two disparate sides of the drawing, although the inscription may imply a connection.

  • Medium Pen and ink
  • Size 15.2 x 21.3 cm
  • Location The Royal Collection

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