Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Leonardo da Vinci - painter at the Court of Milan

; This exhibition was a much awaited visit and proved to be all that we hoped it would be. Our slot was 1pm and due to take about half an hour. It turned out to be two hours long in the main galleries and then we moved on to the Last Supper which was housed in another part of the National Gallery. Exhausted by the end,  but such a privilege to see this once in a lifetime exhibition of most of Leonardo's work.

Leonardo trained in Florence where his gifts as a painter and musician were soon recognised. He moved to Milan in the late fifteenth century and sought patronage of Ludovico Sforza, whose aspiration to create a perfect city inhabited by exceptional men of talent made Leonardo the ideal court artist.

Amongst the many paintings exhibited were The Musician, The Lady with an Ermine, Saint Jerome, The Virgin of the Rocks, The Madonna Lita, Christ as Salvator Mundi (the recently restored painting) The Madonna of the Yarnwinder. Lastly we viewed the full-scale copy of his Last Supper painted by Giampietrino about 1520 which includes details permantently lost in the original which was one of Leonardo's most celebrated works of art painted as a fresco on the wall of a refectory of the Domenican Convent adjoining the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

The process of drawing was vital to Leonardo's investigation of the world and the evolution of his compositions and many of his sketches are exhibited alongside his paintings as well as sketches of anatomical studies. Other works by Leonardo's pupils and followers reveal his tremendous impact and are included to explore issues of attribution.

The National Gallery have many upcoming events in the form of courses,workshops, talks and lectures and more exhibitions planned for 2012 including Turner and Titian.

www.nationalgallery.org.uk

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