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leonardo as a young man

There could hardly be a more archetypal image of a certain young man, could there? The surprise, though, is who he really was. Top left is a sketch Leonardo drew of himself while working in Verrocchio’s studio in 1472 (with the right digital enhancement, it is possible to make out his name, and (bottom right in the uncropped version) the date. Twenty years later he used it as the model for the face of Jesus in his famous ‘Last Supper’. The other three details above are from paintings made by Pietro Perugino, who was right there studying in Verrocchio’s studio at the same time. They too are all of similar date, and marked with Leonardo’s name.

You want to know what he looked like at 10, 26, 39, 47… or even, and this is big surprise, 73, when everyone thought he was dead? Maybe tomorrow.