[All images are from Frank Zöllner, “Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings and Drawings,” Taschen]
[Leonardo’s] drawings often of men and women with strangely deformed or exaggerated features — which he called “visi mostruosi,” or “monstrous faces,” and which scholars call “grotesques” — were distributed widely, and avidly copied.
… One of his favorite private pastimes was to draw faces, either as scribbles in the margins of his notebooks or as fully conceived sketches….
… Leonardo would often follow strange-looking individuals to try to memorize their faces so that he could sketch them later.
“He was essentially interested in body language and how it’s related to emotions and character.”
(Nina Siegal, “Why Did Leonardo Draw These Weird Faces?” NYTimes, 10-7-18)
(c) 2018 JMN.