“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
|Portrait of a Woman by Verocchio|
Below is one of Leonardo's sketches of hands today in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, it exemplifies Leonardo's intense attention to, even fascination with, anatomical correctness and the effects of light and shadow. At the bottom, one hand is folded underneath another, more developed one, as if resting in a lap. That lightly-sketched hand seems to be the ghost of the top hand, which holds a sprig of some sort of plant, the outline of the thumb is nearly identical. These two highly developed hands are worked up with dark crosshatching and white chalk highlights, creating a sense of mass even on a sheet of paper. In each, everything from the muscles of thumb-pads to the wrinkles of skin along the joints of the fingers is depicted with the utmost care. Even when Leonardo lightly sketches the rest of the forearm or the "ghost" hand, his lines are deft and confident, showing how much he strove to depict the human form correctly.