(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)


c. 1512
Red chalk on paper, 333 x 213 mm
Biblioteca Reale, Turin

A hand-written note from the 16th century titles the drawing "Leonardus Vincius (in red chalk) self-portrait at an advanced age (in charcoal)," so that its interpretation as Leonardo's self-portrait during the last years of his life is generally accepted nowadays. It is reminiscent of Gianpaolo Lomazzo's words from the late 16th century:

"Leonardo's hair and beard were so long, and his eyebrows were so bushy, that he appeared to be the sheer idea of noble wisdom." In stylistic terms, however, including the use of parallel hatchings, the drawing could date from before 1500, which would mean that this could not be a self-portrait.