The drawing shown in gold on the left-hand side of all menus on this Web site is the only known authentic likeness and true self-portrait of the artist. Over this drawing there is no dispute with Leonardo thought to have drawn it in 1512, when he was 50 and living in France. It is now held in the magnificent collection of the Biblioteca Reale, Turin.

There exist several other drawings and paintings, both by other people and by Leonardo himself, which may or may not be true likenesses. There is much debate over whether or not the presumed self-portraits are of Leonardo and at this time we do not have the needed information to make definitive determinations. The drawings under consideration as possible self-portraits are as follows:

    • A sketch showing an Old Man Sitting on the banks of the Loire, apparently deep in thought. It is among the works of the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.
    • The cartoon for Adoration of the Magi contains a young shepherd boy. Off to the extreme right and completely isolated from the rest of the painting in that he faces away from the rest of the maddening crowd. It is thought this may be  the only ever self-portrait of a young Leonardo and be based on a bronze statue in which he posed for his master Verrocchio. At this time in history it was usual for artists to include themselves in their works and this same thing can be found with many artists from the period.
    • Drawing of an old man, his hair in braided pigtails and turned to the right. It is also possible that this sketch was the study for a doctor in the painting Christ Disputing with the Doctors. Leonardo may have painted such a picture for Isabella d' Este about 1504, but it is now lost to us.
    • Mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli wrote a book called "On Divine Proportion". This contains a very simple likely self-portrait of Leonardo, who was responsible for illustrating the volume.
    • The Geemente Museum in Amsterdam holds a sketch also presumed to be a self-portrait.
    • Yet another is held by Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan. This shows Leonardo facing towards the left and has his name beneath the drawing.
    • At what would seem to be the most unlikely end of the scale, a few experts consider Portrait of a Warrior may be a self-portrait. It is more likely that work is modelled after one of Verrocchio's bronze reliefs, or his equestrian monument of Colleoni.
    • More important is the belief that Leonardo used his own face in several studies of the proportions of the human face.

    There are also a number of portraits and paintings done by other artists which are thought to be of, or include, Leonardo. The better-known works are documented here:

      • The Uffizi Gallery contains two paintings presumed to be of Leonardo, but he was not the artist in either case. The most important of these paintings has been in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery for almost two hundred years. Until very recently it was considered to be a self-portrait and the Gallery inventory from 1753 lists it as by Leonardo himself. Scholars had been questioning this information for around fifty years and the advent of radiographic examination confirmed their suspicions. Beneath the top painting is another one showing a repentant woman, book and cross beside her and hands clasped to her breast. After examination of this painting experts concluded that it came from an unknown seventeenth century artist. The over-painted portrait of Leonardo was probably carried out some time towards the end of the 1600's and may have been based upon the famous self-portrait housed in Turin.
      • Leonardo may possibly have provided the model for Verrocchio's bronze of a Young David.
      • Italian painter Raphael depicted Leonardo as the Greek philosopher Plato in his famed work School of Athens. This was somewhat ironic since Greek and Latin were two languages Leonardo never mastered, despite making many attempts. The painting shows Plato holding his Timaeus while beside him stands Aristotle with his Ethics.
      • It is thought the figure of St. Michael from Francesco Botticini's Tobias and the Archangels is a likeness of Leonardo. He would have been about eighteen when the picture was executed.