Leonardo da Vinci’s original drawings to go on display in Sheffield

Twelve drawings by Leonardo da Vinci are set to go on display at the Millennium Gallery in February 2019 as part of an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance artist’s death.

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing features twelve drawings that have been selected to reflect the diversity of Leonardo’s interests – painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.

Kirstie Hamilton, head of exhibitions and displays at Museums Sheffield, said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in this nationwide celebration of a true visionary. Drawing and innovation are cornerstones of the collections we care for in Sheffield and we’re thrilled to be working with Royal Collection Trust to show these spectacular works at the Millennium Gallery.”

The exhibition will include examples of all the drawing materials used by the artist, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metal point. The works will also show new information about Leonardo’s working practices and creative process, gathered through scientific research using a range of non-invasive techniques including ultraviolet imaging, infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence.

In the ‘Studies of Water’ drawing (c.1517-18), Leonardo built up the image in stages, first creating an underlying structure of water currents in chalk and then adding little rosettes of bubbles on the surface in ink, almost as decoration.

Head of prints and drawings at the Royal Collection Trust Martin Clayton commented that the drawings were a national treasure. “We hope that as many people as possible across the UK will take this unique opportunity to see these extraordinary works, which allow us to enter one of the greatest minds in history, and to understand the man and his achievements.”

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing will open at the Millennium Gallery on 1 February 2019 and continue until 6 May 2019. Entry to the exhibition is free. More info can be found here.

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