Leonardo da Vinci’s “Female Head,” also known as “La Scapigliata,” is a mesmerizing masterpiece that exemplifies the artist’s unparalleled talent for capturing the subtleties of human expression and anatomy. Painted during his mature period in the early 1500s, this oil-on-panel portrait portrays the head and shoulders of an unidentified young woman.

What makes this artwork truly captivating is its intimate and contemplative depiction of the subject. Her serene expression invites viewers to ponder her thoughts, while her tousled hair adds an air of naturalness and spontaneity.

Leonardo’s meticulous attention to detail, from the intricate strands of hair to the play of light and shadow on the skin, showcases his unmatched skill. “Female Head” stands as a testament to Leonardo’s ability to breathe life into his subjects, making them not just painted figures but embodiments of humanity’s depth and complexity.

Today, it continues to be celebrated as a timeless example of Renaissance artistry and remains a source of inspiration for those who appreciate the power of visual storytelling.

“Female Head,” also known as “La Scapigliata,” is a portrait by Leonardo da Vinci that depicts the head and shoulders of an unidentified young woman. It is considered one of Leonardo’s remarkable works, showcasing his mastery of portraiture and his keen observation of human anatomy and expression.

Key information about Leonardo da Vinci’s “Female Head”

Date of Creation

The exact date of the creation of “Female Head” is uncertain, but it is believed to have been painted in the early 1500s, during Leonardo’s mature period.


The artwork is an oil-on-panel painting, which was a relatively new technique during Leonardo’s time.


The subject of the painting is an unknown young woman. Her expression is serene, and her gaze appears introspective. Her hair is tousled, which is why the painting is sometimes referred to as “La Scapigliata,” meaning “disheveled” or “tousled” in Italian.


The composition is a close-up portrayal of the woman’s face and shoulders. Leonardo paid great attention to the intricate details of her hair, skin, and facial features. The background is minimal, allowing the viewer to focus on the subject.


“Female Head” is part of the collection of the National Gallery in Parma, Italy. It is considered one of the highlights of the museum’s Renaissance art collection.


This portrait is celebrated for its delicate and lifelike depiction of the female form. Leonardo’s attention to light and shadow, as well as his ability to capture the complexity of human expression, is evident in this work.

“Female Head” is a testament to Leonardo da Vinci’s exceptional skill as a painter and his ability to create captivating and emotionally resonant portraits. It continues to be admired and studied by art enthusiasts and scholars around the world.

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