Horse and Rider by Leonardo da Vinci, work on paper with silverpoint

This portrait of man and horse is one of the first works to reveal Leonardo da Vinci’s interest in the horse.  It was a preparatory study for his Adoration of the Magi, housed in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy.  The work was created in silverpoint, a technique in which the artist uses a silver-pointed instrument on paper that has been prepared with a coating of powdered bone or zinc white, realizing a fine and indelible line of metal fragments.

Horse and Rider was bought at auction by John Nicholas Brown in 1928 (whose son J. Carter Brown was the former director of the National Gallery in Washington).  It was held in the private collection of the family until 2001, when it was sold at Christie’s London for over $11 million, equalling the world record price for an Old Master drawing.

Luckily, reproductions are available, through such sources as for $34.99.  You can choose your medium (alas, neither da Vinci’s hand nor silverpoint is available) through