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Leonardo da Vinci: Rethinking Leonardo in His Old Age

The Head of the Virgin in Three-Quarter View Facing right (detail)

Carmen Bambach, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MMA

The late years of Leonardo da Vinci have often been minimized in comparison to his achievements in Florence and Milan. This may be because it's sometimes fashionable to consider an artist's production in old age past its prime or merely a replication of earlier, more successfully received work. In this talk, Carmen Bambach (who organized the Met's seminal 2003 exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman) examines Leonardo's later years and the riches of his interior life and his concrete, multifaceted production as an artist-thinker. What lies at front and center in the work of Leonardo's old age is the unfinished dimension of his thought and production.

This series is made possible by the Giorgio S. Sacerdote Fund.

Today's Topic.
Leonardo da Vinci: Rethinking Leonardo in His Old Age

Above: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519). The Head of the Virgin in Three-Quarter View Facing Right, 1508–12. Black chalk, charcoal, and red chalk, with some traces of white chalk (?); some remains of framing outline in pen and brown ink at upper right (not by Leonardo); Sheet: 8 x 6 1/8 in. (20.3 x 15.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1951 (51.90)

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