Saturday, November 12, 2011

Leonardo Da Vinci Painter at the Court of Milan @ the National Gallery

It seems like the whole world has gone crazy for this exhibition and quite rightly too! Now, there has been many a column inch written about this show, by much more knowledgeable folk than I, so i will steer clear of a review. But i will offer a word of advice...this exhibition is being called the 'the greatest show on earth', so as you can imagine, demand is crazy. Online tickets are no longer available. The only way to get tickets now is to queue in person. Thanks to a hot toddy, and a game of eye spy with the man, the 1.5hr wait seemed to fly by...kind of. There is the guarantee of some pretty spectacular art at the end of it though.
The two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks (one normally lives in the Louvre, the other is a local, living in the National Gallery) are facing off, literally, within one room of the exhibition. This one here is the London version.Lady with an Ermine is the main draw of the show. I have been told on good authority (this sweet old lady in the queue) that the best tactic is to head straight for it to try and beat the scrum. 

The world's most famous smile will not feature in the was painted later, after Leonardo left Milan. But apparently there is this big debate on whether Lady with an Ermine is going to bitch slap old Mona Lisa, off her most 'famous painting in the world' pedestal. Discuss...
The Last Supper - As the real deal is on a wall in Milan (literally on a wall, making transportation v.tricky), the exhibition features a replica painted by Giampietrino, one of Leonardo's pupils. Leonardo's anatomical studies came a lot later in his career, so will not feature, but i love them so much that i had to get them in!
All images are from one of my favourite books of all time, the Frank Zollner, Taschen book, Leonardo Da Vinci The complete Paintings and Drawings. It is so beautiful, with gorgeous, glossy, full page images. It's also huge, to the point that if you dropped it on your foot, you would die!