Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing traces the artist's life and his many interests
- Susan Mansfield
- 14 November 2019
Queen's Gallery exhibition marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance master
He might have been one of the greatest minds ever to have lived, but many of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest projects went unfinished. The great equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan? The ambitious engineering scheme to divert the course of the river Arno? The treatises on botany, anatomy, painting? Thanks to factors political and personal, none was realised.
What we have are drawings, hundreds of them, in which Leonardo worked out his thinking and planned his greatest schemes. This year, to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist's death, 144 drawings from the Royal Collection – which holds one of the finest groups of Leonardo drawings in the world – were displayed simultaneously in 12 locations around the UK (including Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow). Now, as a grand finale to the project, more than 80 drawings are being shown at the Queen's Gallery at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the largest group ever shown in Scotland.
They trace the artist's life and his many interests, from anatomical dissections to engineering plans, from preparatory drawings for his now lost painting 'Leda and the Swan' and the Duke of Milan's never-built statue, to the visions of cataclysmic storms which obsessed his closing years. A rare chance to witness a beautiful mind, and a supremely gifted hand.
Queen's Gallery, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Nov–Sun 15 Mar.