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17 September 2014
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Portraits of Leonardo
In his notebooks, Leonardo expressed a desire to leave behind a drawing of himself 'for posterity'. He probably made many sketches of himself during his lifetime.

It was common for Renaissance artists to include images of themselves in their paintings. There is a lone shepherd in the Adoration of the Magi which could well be a likeness of the young artist. It is also likely that the master used his own reflection as a basis for his studies of the proportions of the human face.

As well as the self portraits, there are several likenesses of Leonardo by other artists. The most recognisable is a drawing (right) by Leonardo's pupil Melzi, of the master in his latter years. Leonardo also appears as Plato in Raphael's painting of Greek philosophers, and he may also have been the model for Verrocchio's sculpture of David.

The Melzi portrait is now part of the Royal Collection, owned by The Queen.
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Portrait of Leonardo by Melzi
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Leonardo: The Man, His Machines
Leonardo's Self Portraits

Royal Collection, Windsor

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