All skewed up. Leo self portrait?


I've never seen this drawing by Leo before. It was on display @ the Uffizi and is thought to be a self portrait. It definitely looks like one of his sketches but I don't get a feeling that he would have drawn himself this way. He almost looks a little mean in it! Although the eyebrows and nose are reminiscent of his self portrait sketch.

Actually when I compared the two sketches I noticed they are very similar. The wrinkles and creases are almost the same in both sketches. The most obvious difference being the beard. I guess it's possible he used his own reflection as a basis and then built up another face from it. I'll actually do that with some of my photoshop projects. 

There is something very strange about the sketch though. It seems to be "off" in some way. Almost as if it is melting and the neck doesn't align with his face. Its also almost as if one side of the face is in a different perspective than the other. 

Although Leo did design some of his art to be Anamorphic what could have happened in this case was that when the picture was taken of it- it was skewed (at an off angle).

 Anamorphosis is a drawing/ painting that was designed to only be seen properly and clearly from a particular angle or perspective. Leonardo was actually the first person to ever do this!

"Leonardo's Eye (Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1485) is the earliest known definitive example of perspective anamorphosis."

What i've been working on these last few years is trying to understand and explain an even more complex artistic innovation that I've noticed in his art. I guess I'll hint at it by saying take the movie above showing anamorphosis x1000. 

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