The caricatures and grotesques of Leonardo da Vinci  

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Grotesque Head (c. 1480-1510) by Leonardo da Vinci, clearly the inspiration for The Ugly Duchess
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Grotesque Head (c. 1480-1510) by Leonardo da Vinci, clearly the inspiration for The Ugly Duchess

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci's extensive collection of drawings feature a large number of caricatures and grotesques.

English art critic Kenneth Clark said about these in 1939:

"Gargoyles were the complement to saints; Leonardo's caricatures were complementary to his untiring search for ideal beauty. And gargoyles were the expression of all the passions, the animal forces, the Caliban gruntings and groanings which are left in human nature when the divine has been poured away. Leonardo was less concerned than his Gothic predecessors with the ethereal parts of our nature, and so his caricatures, in their expression of passionate energy, merge imperceptibly into the heroic."--Leonardo da Vinci (1939), Kenneth Clark

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