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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