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The Restoration of the Leonardo Cartoon

Eric Harding, Allan Braham, Martin Wyld and Aviva Burnstock
Technical Bulletin Volume 13, 1989


Leonardo's Burlington House Cartoon, part of the National Gallery collection, is probably dated 1507–08. Recent restoration work allowed the study of the techniques of the cartoon and its vicissitudes.

This contribution is divided into three parts. The first is a history of the cartoon, by Martin Wyld, which discusses the original materials and possible methods of repair, in particular the damage caused by a shotgun in 1987. In the second part, Eric Harding describes the processes of flattening the cartoon, removing fragments from the damaged area, removing the old stretcher, attaching a new support, reattaching the fragments, and completing the restoration. Aviva Burnstock reviews materials and techniques in the third contribution, which studies the paper, the surface coating, and the drawing materials.


drawings, flattening, Leonardo da Vinci, reattaching

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To cite this article we suggest using

Harding, E., Braham, A., Wyld, M., Burnstock, A. 'The Restoration of the Leonardo Cartoon'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 13, pp 5–27.