Man in Red Chalk by Leonardo da Vinci

Man in Red Chalk

This portrait was drawn in red chalk on paper. It depicts the head and face of an elderly man, his face turned looking towards the viewer. The subject is distinguished by his long hair and long swaying beard which blows over the shoulders and chest. The length of the beard and hair is somewhat abnormal in Renaissance portraits and suggests, as now, a person of foresight. The face has a somewhat hook-shaped nose and is marked by deep lines on the eyebrow and pouches below the eyes. It appears as if the man has lost his upper front teeth, causing deepening of the grooves from the nostrils. The eyes of the figure do not engage the viewer but gaze ahead, overshadowed by the long eyebrows. The drawing has been drawn in fine unique lines, shadowed by hatching and executed with the left hand, as was Leonardo Da Vinci’s habit. The paper has brownish “fox marks” caused by the build-up of iron salts due to moisture.

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