Leonardo da Vinci drawing, portrait mark 500 years since his death

LONDON — A drawing of a bearded, pensive-looking man owned by Queen Elizabeth II is a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, a royal art adviser said Thursday on the 500th anniversary of the artist and polymath’s death.

Martin Clayton, head of prints at the Royal Collection, said the sketch was made by one of Leonardo’s assistants shortly before his death on May 2, 1519.

Clayton said “the elegant straight nose, the line of the beard rising diagonally up the cheek to the ear” and other details strongly resemble the only other known portrait of Leonardo done in his lifetime, by Francesco Melzi.

Clayton said “there are strong indications that this too is a depiction of the artist.”

The portrait will go on display alongside about 200 drawings from the monarch’s huge collection of Leonardo works at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace from May 24 to Oct. 13.

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