Leonardo da Vinci: a life in drawing – on tour in the UK

To mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the Royal Collection Trust has selected 12 drawings for 12 simultaneous exhibitions to be held in the UK from February 1st to May 6th 2019.

The 144 drawings, chosen from among the 550 da Vinci sheets bound into a single album that had been acquired by Charles II, will be on show in the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the National Museum Cardiff, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, the Leeds Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Manchester Art Gallery, the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, the Southampton City Art Gallery, the Sunderland Museums and Winter Gardens and a further location to be announced.

From May 24th to October 13th 2019 an exhibition of over 200 drawings will be held in The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace in London and from November 22nd 2019 to March 15th 2020 an exhibition of 80 drawings will be displayed in The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Also to be displayed at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, are the recently discovered studies of hands for Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi. Initially thought to be two blank sheets of paper, examination in ultraviolet light have revealed two of Leonardo’s most beautiful drawings. The drawings had become invisible to the naked eye because of the high copper content in the stylus (pen) Leonardo used.

The drawings to be exhibited have been purposely selected by the Royal Collection Trust to reflect Leonardo’s full range of interests, including painting and sculpture, as well as his passion for architecture, engineering, anatomy, botany, geology, cartography and music.

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NOVA Eroica 2018

NOVA Eroica is an event dedicated to gravel , cyclo-cross and modern road bikes along a portion of L’Eroica’s usual route. This year it takes place on April 29th in Buonconvento, Siena.

It starts off with five timed sections on the 145 km Long Route to select first the best 150 male cyclists, and then the 150 female competitors. This route takes participants from the Crete Senesi to the Chianti area.  Those selected go on to do the 36 km Road Race.

There is also a Medium Route, 89 km totally immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Crete Senesi, with three timed sections. This route is recommended to those who have never participated in a race with modern bikes on gravel roads, but who are physically fit.

The 48 km Leisure Route, instead, is the perfect choice for those who wish to experience some of the legendary sections of the L’Eroica long route, such as Montalcino, while the 27 km Family Fun Route is best suited to families with even small children.

Furthermore, from April 27th to May 1st the beautiful medieval village of Buonconvento will be hosting the second edition of the Nova Eroica Festival where bicycles, art, nature, food and wine are guaranteed. For five days visitors can discover local producers and artisans in the Open Market or taste either street food or local dishes in Piazza Matteotti. There will also be nature walks, open air museums, concerts and lots more.


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Crazyrun is back – the CR6 edition

Back from May 12th to 13th is the Crazyrun, a car race which is entirely run in Italy but starts and finishes in Tuscany.

In an age of technology, the pilots are not allowed to use anything and can only guess the destination from the indications they receive at the various checkpoints. Here participants have to solve the clue and choose the road to reach the following checkpoint.

The cars selected to participate are generally unconventional. They can be simply out of the ordinary, vintage cars, modern supercars or the famous ‘crazycars’, namely converted school buses, or cars with particular corporate colours or themed disguises.

So if you’re travelling around Tuscany on May 12th & 13th don’t be surprised if you’re overtaken by characters from the Wacky Races!

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Oscar-winning costumes of a Queen on show at Prato

The Textile Museum of Prato, Museo del Tessuto, is hosting from February 11th to May 27th the exhibition: Marie Antoinette. The Oscar-Winning Costumes of a Queen.

On show the costumes created by celebrated costume designer Milena Canonero for Sophia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette”, for which Milena won an Academy Award in 2007.

On display are over twenty items of clothing worn by the film’s main characters. This exhibition offers a unique overview of the standards of elegance in Eighteenth-Century Europe.

Open from Tuesday to Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm, from Friday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and on Sundays from 3 pm to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays. Full price ticket costs 7 Euros.

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Antonio Ligabue on show at Palazzo Ducale, Genoa

From March 3rd to July 1st, Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Liguria, will be hosting an exhibition of Italian Naïve artist, Antonio Ligabue. On show will be 80 works, amongst which paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings by this sadly unfortunate painter, considered one of the most important of the 20th century.

The exhibition follows the two main themes sustaining Ligabue’s creative universe: animals, both wild and domestic, and his self-portraits. Visitors will be able to admire some of the artist’s greatest masterpieces such as “Tigre Reale”, which he drew in 1941 while at the Mental Hospital of San Lazzaro in Reggio Emilia, the two versions of “Landscape with Hunting Dogs”, “Eagle with Fox”, “Black Widow”, “Tiger Head”, as well as an impressive gallery of self-portraits, such as the “Self-portrait with Motorcycle Cap” and the 1957 self-portrait.

Domestic animals are caught by Ligabue in a rural atmosphere, inserted in landscapes such as the flatlands of the Bassa Reggiana, where he lived from 1919 to his death in 1965, or against the castles, churches and houses with steep roofs of his native Switzerland. The wild animals, whose anatomy he demonstrates to know perfectly well, are often represented in the moment they fall on their prey, with an exasperated expressionism and an almost spasmodic attention of reiterated decorative elements.

The self-portraits, instead, amount to a bitter thread in his paintings. The artist represents himself in the foreground, occupying nearly the entire scene, and completely obliterating the relevance of the landscape in the background, excluding some rare exceptions. These portraits summarize a perpetual and constant human condition of anguish, desolation and loss. His face expresses pain, fatigue, dismay and the pain of living. Any relationship with the world seems to have been forever severed. They represent Ligabue’s sufferings to the point we can almost hear his silent cry in front of nature and the deafness of the people surrounding him.

This exhibition is a further chapter, after the shows at Gualtieri in 2015, at Palermo and Rome in 2016 and at Pavia in 2017, to carry forward Ligabue’s works in a  correct critical and historical evaluation. This is the opportunity to discard the adjectives ‘naive’ and ‘mad’ and let oneself go to a tragic expressionism which fuses visionary exasperation to decorative taste.

On show at the Loggia degli Abati, Palazzo Ducale, Genoa. Open daily, except Mondays, from 10 am to 7 pm. Full price ticket costs 11 Euros.

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