Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece, National Gallery - ★★★★ - Until January 26, 2020


This is a unique exhibition focussing on a single painting: the National Gallery's version of The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci. The exhibition takes us into the provenance of the work from its commission by the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the church of San Francisco Grande in Milan to its placement in that setting and to its eventual arrival in London in 1880. The technical research by the National Gallery in 2005-6 and the further work in 2008-10 also inform the exhibit. In a series of six rooms we explore the amazing mind of the artist and the evolution of this masterwork. We begin with mirror images of Leonardo's journals leading us into the conception and process of the master as he developed his sense of vision and perspective. We are invited to experience how light and shade can be played with and to see how Leonardo might have explored his creative options. We are urged to consider his analysis and treatment of his subject and also his choices about the subject. From the rocks that form the setting to the presentation of the figures, there is so much to learn about how Leonardo's scientific and creative genius are displayed in this work. This is a painting that was 25 years in the making and this exhibition is an amazing opportunity to get beneath its surface!

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: The Virgin of the Rocks (circa 1491/2-9 and 1506-8) by Leonardo da Vinci.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Nov 9, 2019 - Jan 26, 2020
Sat - Thu: 10 am - 4:50 pm
Fri: 10 am - 7:50 pm
Ground Floor Galleries, National Gallery
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/leonardo-experience-a-masterpiece

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