CESARE da Sesto
(b. 1477, Sesto Calende, d. 1523, Milano)

Study of a Tree

Pen and ink over black chalk on blue paper, 392 x 265 mm
Royal Collection, Windsor

Formerly this drawing, closely related to Leonardo's writings, was attributed to Leonardo himself. However, later it has been recognized as the work of Leonardo's gifted Milanese follower Cesare da Sesto. Depicted in splendid isolation with careful attention to the nuances of form and texture, light and shadow, the drawing has the character of an independent exercise rather than a preparatory study for a painting.