Do we need an introduction here? (If you do, where have you BEEN??) Perhaps the greatest mind in history of the West, Leonardo Da Vinci was master of just about anything he touched – light years before his time, living and pioneering the Italian Renaissance around late 1400s, as well as being a scientist, engineer, anatomist, cartographer, sculptor, musician and painter. His drawings are evidence that he conceptualised helicopters, solar power, a calculator – inventions us mere mortals were just stumbling across in the last 150 years (no wonder he was a member of the Priory of Sion and privy to the grail secret, eh?). He is also, not forgetting, the painter of two of the most famous paintings in the world: the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper and as such, is probably one of the greatest and most famous painters of our time.
This new blockbuster exhibition is already being dubbed ‘a once on a lifetime experience’ and brings together 9 of the only 15 or 16 paintings known to exist by the legend. Most notably, it unites two versions Da Vinci painted of The Virgin of the Rocks, one newly restored by the National, the other on loan from the Louvre. Where other exhibitions have taken their focus on the artist as a engineer or anatomist – this new collection focuses on the unique way Da Vinci approached painting. With examples of his work that you would otherwise have to travel the length and breadth of Europe to experience them, you would be a fool to miss them on your doorstep. See you there! (Words: Laura Thornley)
Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan is on until February 5th, 2012. Click here for more info.