LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Star of Bethlehem and other plants1505-07
Pen and ink over red chalk on paper, 198 x 160 mm
Royal Library, Windsor
Leonardo's depiction of the "Star of Bethlehem" plant has moved away from a previous nature study and stylizes the structure of the plant. The flowers are growing out of a draped ring of leaves. This plant appears in both studies of the kneeling Leda. Growth and birth were not merely the theme of the Leda compositions, but reflected the more general interests of Leonardo during this period.