Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci: A Diamond 
Jubilee Celebration

PAST EVENT 13 January - 25 March 2012, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery


Leonardo da Vinci (c.-1505-6) The head of Leda, (detail), Pen and ink over black chalk

To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, ten of the Royal Collection’s finest drawings by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci will travel to five museums and galleries across the United Kingdom.   

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is the first UK venue to show this exhibition.

The exhibition has been selected to show the extraordinary scope of Leonardo’s interests – painting and sculpture, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics and anatomy - and his use of different media – pen and ink, red and black chalks, and metalpoint.  

Through drawing Leonardo attempted to record and understand the world around him. He maintained that an image transmitted knowledge more accurately and concisely than any words, although some of his drawings are extensively annotated.

Beyond a handful of paintings, most of Leonardo’s great projects were never completed. His surviving drawings are therefore our main source of knowledge of his extraordinary achievements.

The Ten Drawings on display are:

  • Designs for chariots and war weapons, c.1485
  • A study of an equestrian monument, c.1485-90
  • The head of Leda, c.1505-6
  • Oak and dyer’s greenweed, c.1505-10
  • The bones of the foot, and the shoulder, and the veins and muscles of the arm, c.1510
  • The chain ferry at Vaprio d’Adda, c.1511-13
  • A map of the Pontine marshes, c.1515
  • A masquerader on horseback, c.1517-18
  • Scenes of the Apocalypse, with notes, c.1517-18
  • The head of an old bearded man in profile, c.1517-18  

Out of office tours 4 new tours are now on sale - 13, 29 February and 7, 14 March (5pm). To find out more and to book tickets please visit the website.


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