Leg Of Dog is a signed screen print depicting various anatomic drawings of canine body parts, including a food, teeth, jaw and legs. The dainty drawings recall the Anatomy series in their level of detail and care to faithfully represent anatomy, but the composition is more chaotic, with the body parts appearing to be haphazardly placed across the image. The way in which Jean-Michel Basquiat brings the same attention to detail to these canine anatomical studies as to his drawings of human anatomy has a humanising effect.
The repeated label of ‘Leg of a Dog from a Da Vinci’ is a direct acknowledgement of the extensive inspiration Basquiat took from the aforementioned artist. The influence of Da Vinci was so extensive that Basquiat devised a series of prints in direct homage to da Vinci, including Untitled (From Leonardo), 1983, where a series of bones and almost illegible annotations are drawn in red.
The skull which appears in this work, and throughout the artist’s body of work, reinforces Basquiat’s preoccupation with corporeality and mortality, but also highlights the impact of Da Vinci’s fascination with skulls. In the same way that da Vinci would depict the skull exterior and interior in the same image, such as in View of A Skull (1500), Basquiat often depicted anatomy in a way in which would allow the viewer to see the beneath the surface, such as in works like Head.