Study for the head of Leda, c.1505-1507
Leonardo da Vinci
Image: wikimedia commons
Study for a painting that apparently was never executed. While most of da Vinci's drawings were studies for what might be seen as grander projects, the studies flourish on their own as works of art. Drawings allow us to see the process of the artist, each and every line, a sketched surface, something that is often lost in the smoothness of a painting (particularly in more traditional work).
Looks like this image is only part of an overall page of drawing in the Royal Collection, UK. You can see the same shadow of where the arch of her should was originally. Note the difficulty in finding images on the web, they are so often cropped with no lead on where the original came from (of course I sometimes add to the problem, though I try to avoid it).
More drawings of Leonardo.