In the year of the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Royal Collection in London organized a traveling exhibition of the precious drawings made by the hand of the great scientist and artist. ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’ is a nationwide event that gave a wide British audience the opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary genius. During the first part of the year, 12 drawings selected to reflect the full range of Da Vinci’s interests – painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany – have been simultaneously exhibited at venues in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Southampton, and Sunderland. Subsequently, all the works, from which the functioning of Leonardo’s vivid mind emerges very clearly, have been brought together to form part of an exhibition of over 200 sheets that will be on show at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until October 13.
The one in London is the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in the United Kingdom in over 65 years. The drawing served as Leonardo’s laboratory, allowing him to work out his ideas on paper and search for the universal laws that he believed underpinned all of creation. The drawings by Leonardo in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since the artist’s death in 1519. Acquired during the reign of Charles II, they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind.
From November 22 to March 15, a selection of 80 drawings presented in the great London exhibition will travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh. This will be the largest group of Leonardo’s works ever shown in Scotland.