LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Study of five grotesque headsc. 1494
Pen and ink on paper, 261 x 206 cm
Royal Library, Windsor
It has not so far been possible to come up with a convincing interpretation of these five types. The figure wearing the laurel wreath is thought to be a portrait. At any rate, it is the main figure in the group, because with its profile view it is occupying the most dignified position, and the others are arranged about this figure. Leonardo recognized that the moving parts of the face, such as the eyebrows, eyes and mouth, were a prerequisite for the expression of various emotions such as laughing, crying, anger and fear.