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A Bear Walking

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, Vinci 1452–1519 Amboise)

Date:
early to mid 1480s
Medium:
metalpoint on light buff prepared paper
Dimensions:
4 1/16 x 5 1/4 in. (10.3 x 13.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.369
  • Description

    Leonardo da Vinci's abundant drawings and notebooks record his keen and tireless observation of all aspects of the natural world. This depiction of a bear walking may have been drawn from life and Leonardo’s anatomical understanding of the animal may have been aided by dissections. The sheet relates to a group of bear studies that Leonardo probably produced for his planned anatomical treatise, about which he wrote: "I will discourse of the hands of each animal to show in what way they vary, as in the bear which has the ligatures of the toes joined above the instep." The faint outlines of a seated woman are visible beneath the drawing of the bear, indicating that Leonardo reused the sheet.

  • Provenance

    Thomas Lawrence, London; Samuel Woodburn, London; Lawrence-Woodburn sale 1860, June 8, lot 1038; private collection, England; [P.& D. Colnaghi & Co., London]; Ludwig Rosenthal, Bern, Switzerland; (later L.V. Randall, Montreal); [Schaeffer Galleries, New York]; acquired by Robert Lehman from Schaeffer Galleries in February 1945

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
459184

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