LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Pen and ink on paper, 202 x 266 mm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
In addition to sketches of two profile heads, there are also mechanical and military drawings on the sheet. Due to a comment which Leonardo notes down in his characteristic mirror writing, to the effect that he is working on two pictures of Mary in 1478, the sheet is important for the artist's early work. The mirror writing was not intended to hide any secrets, as had so frequently been thought, but probably only had the simple practical reason of not wanting to smear the ink when writing with his left hand.