Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • A Bear Walking, ca. 1490
    Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
    Metalpoint on light buff prepared paper

    4 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (10.3 x 13.3 cm)
    Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.369)

    Leonardo da Vinci's abundant drawings and notebooks record his keen and tireless observation of all aspects of the natural world. This accurately rendered depiction of a bear walking was presumably drawn from life. (In one of his notebooks, the artist wrote of the presence of bears in the woods outside Milan.) It relates thematically to a small group of drawings of a bear's head and paws that Leonardo probably produced for an anatomical treatise. The faint outlines of a seated woman are visible beneath the drawing of the bear, indicating that Leonardo reused the sheet.

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    A Bear Walking, ca. 1490
    Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
    Metalpoint on light buff prepared paper

    4 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (10.3 x 13.3 cm)
    Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.369)


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