Manchester Art Gallery will take part in Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, a nationwide exhibition to commemorate Da Vinci’s death.
To say Leonardo da Vinci was a genius would be a bit of an understatement. Not only was he one of the greatest artists the world has ever known, celebrated in his day as a painter, architect and sculptor, but also a renowned scientist who made far-reaching contributions to many areas of science and technology.
But it was drawing that lay at the heart of his creativity. He drew to prepare his artistic projects, to record the world around him, to pursue his scientific speculations and to make visible the workings of his imagination.
And from February 1 – May 6, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his death, the Manchester Art Gallery will exhibit 12 drawings from The Royal Collection, alongside 11 other exhibitions running simultaneously across the UK. The selection of works, which can only be displayed for a limited time as the paper is easily damaged by light, will focus on the body and will clearly demonstrate Da Vinci’s use of drawing to gain an unrivalled understanding of human anatomy.
The exhibition will include anatomical studies, caricatures, idealised male and female bodies, drapery, figures in action and studies of an infant and foetus. And will demonstrate the variety of techniques he used, from pen and ink and watercolour to red and black chalks and metal point, as well as his mastery in depicting ideal and grotesque physical features.
The Royal Collection holds the finest surviving group of Da Vinci’s drawings – more than 550 sheets that have been together since Leonardo’s death, acquired by King Charles II around 1670. The Royal Collection Trust is collaborating with 12 museums and galleries across the UK to stage simultaneous exhibitions of Da Vinci’s drawings. These will then be brought together in the largest display of Da Vinci’s works in 65 years at The Queen’s Gallery in London from 24 May – 13 October, followed by the largest group of Leonardo’s works ever shown in Scotland at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh from 22 November – 15 March 2020.
Manchester Art Gallery will run tours for those wishing to learn more about how Da Vinci drew the works and what their purpose was. Tours will take place every Tuesday 10.30-11.30am and Sunday 11am-12pm throughout the exhibition.
For more information or to book a tour click here.