Record numbers see Royal Collection touring exhibition

Leonardo da Vinci, The head of Leda, c.1505-6
Monday, 2 April 2012

Almost five centuries after his death, Leonardo da Vinci can still draw the crowds.  The Diamond Jubilee exhibition of ten of the Renaissance master’s drawings from the Royal Collection has been seen by 75,000 visitors at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – the first stop on the exhibition’s tour of five museums and galleries. Simon Cane, Head of Operations at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, said, ‘It is the most successful art show we have ever had.’

Martin Clayton, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Collection, said, ‘We are always struck by the enduring appeal of Leonardo. The amazing attendance figures at Birmingham have exceeded all expectations, and we hope that they will be sustained throughout the UK tour.’

The exhibition was selected to show the extraordinary scope of Leonardo’s interests – painting and sculpture, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics and anatomy – and his use of different media – pen and ink, red and black chalks and metalpoint. Beyond a handful of paintings, most of Leonardo’s great projects were never completed. His surviving drawings are therefore our main source of knowledge of his achievements.

The exhibition is at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery from 31 March to 10 June 2012.

View the exhibition microsite.