Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan

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Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan

Date and time

9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012
Sainsbury Wing
Admission charge

‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan’ is the most complete display ofLeonardo’s rare surviving paintings ever held. This unprecedented exhibition – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – brings together sensational international loans never before seen in the UK.

Leonardo the artist

While numerous exhibitions have looked at Leonardo da Vinci as an inventor, scientist or draughtsman, this is the first to be dedicated to his aims and techniques as a painter. Inspired by the recently restored National Gallery painting, The Virgin of the Rocks, this exhibition focuses on Leonardo as an artist. In particular it concentrates on the work he produced as court painter to Duke Lodovico Sforza in Milan in the late 1480s and 1490s.
As a painter, Leonardo aimed to convince viewers of the reality of what they were seeing while still aspiring to create ideals of beauty – particularly in his exquisite portraits – and, in his religious works, to convey a sense of awe-inspiring mystery.

Works on display

Featuring the finest paintings and drawings by Leonardo and his followers, the exhibition examines Leonardo’s pursuit for perfection in his representation of the human form.  Works on display include ‘La Belle Ferronière’ (Musée du Louvre, Paris), the ‘Madonna Litta’ (Hermitage, Saint Petersburg) and ‘Saint Jerome’ (Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome).
The two versions of Leonardo’s ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ – belonging to the National Gallery and the Louvre – will also be shown together for the first time. Find out more about the two paintings.
The final part of the exhibition features a near-contemporary, full-scale copy of Leonardo’s famous ‘Last Supper’, on loan from the Royal Academy. Seen alongside all the surviving preparatory drawings made by Leonardo for the 'Last Supper', visitors will discover how such a large-scale painting was designed and executed.

Audio guide

An audio guide for 'Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan' will be available from exhibition ticket desks.

Exhibition guide

A free exhibition guide will be available to visitors, which provides an overview of the exhibition and includes labels of all the paintings on display.
PDF fileDownload the exhibition guide [PDF 610kb – opens in a new window] 
Leonardo da Vinci
1452 - 1519
Leonardo da Vinci
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Image above: Detail from Leonardo da Vinci, 'Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (The Lady with an Ermine)', about 1489-90. Property of the Czartoryski Foundation in Cracow on deposit at the National Museum in Cracow © Princes Czartoryski Foundation

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