The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
24 May 2019 – 13 October 2019
Marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace brings together more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s greatest drawings from the Royal Collection.
Drawing served as Leonardo’s laboratory, allowing him to work out his ideas on paper and search for the universal laws that he believed underpinned all of creation. The drawings by Leonardo in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since the artist’s death in 1519. Acquired during the reign of Charles II (King of England from 1660 to 1685), they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. Leonardo died at Amboise in France on 2 May 1519, aged 67. He was careful to leave his drawings – perhaps 2000 or more loose sheets, and dozens of notebooks – to his pupil Francesco Melzi. Most of these drawings have survived to the present day, but widely published and understood only from the late nineteenth century. We now have a greater understanding of Leonardo’s life, work and thought than at any time since his death, and – primarily through his drawings – an insight into one of the greatest minds of the Renaissance. (From the museum’s website)