A study of a horse, full length, standing in profile to the left; the off legs are indicated in two positions and the body is divided into sections as if for measurement. To the left is a drawing of the near hind-leg and quarters of a horse in profile to the left. The sheet has irregularly cut upper corners.
The drawing is datable to Leonardo’s first Florentine period, when he was associated with the sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio. In April 1480 an equestrian monument was commissioned from Verrocchio, and drawings survive that seem to be his related studies of the dimensions of the horse. Leonardo may have been prompted to make this study in emulation of Verrocchio’s researches, but the drawing is uncertain in purpose, and the absence of annotations suggests that Leonardo simply sketched a horse and drew lines between salient points.
Text adapted from ‘Leonardo da Vinci: the Divine and the Grotesque’
Bequeathed to Francesco Melzi; from whose heirs purchased by Pompeo Leoni, c.1582-90; Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, by 1630; Probably acquired by Charles II; Royal Collection by 1690.