LOMAZZO, Giovan Paolo
(b. 1538, Milano, d. 1600, Milano)

Head of an Executioner

1560s
Black pencil on thorn white paper, 119 x 92 mm
Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan

Giovan Paolo Lomazzo joined with Aurelio Luini and other artists to found the satirical Accademia della Val di Blenio in 1560. The academy's popular, anticlassical aesthetic led to a rereading and revaluation of Leonardo's graphic legacy. In their portraits, the members of this group represents mocking and remorselessly brutal features that were broadly adapted from Leonardo's grotesque heads but reinvented in accordance with their own interest in a heightened realism. One such drawing by Lomazzo features the grim face of an executioner.