Leonardo da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery London

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De National Gallery in Londen wil Leonardo da Vinci nu eens niet als uitvinder en wetenschapper maar als schilder schrijft Birgit Donker in haar review in NRC Handelsblad donderdag 10 november 2011.
In de Britse media wordt al maanden uitgekeken naar de historische expositie en de publieke belangstelling is groot.

According to the November 12, 2011 article of Charles Darwent in The Independent, there have been exhibitions portraying Leonardo as the inventor of submarines, the tortured homosexual, Leonardo as the anatomist and cartographer, the Renaissance genius and the occult anti-hero of The Da Vinci Code. The National Gallery presents Leonardo as the artist hidden behind his other talents. The exhibition shows works of the years Leonardo worked at the court of Ludivico Sforza, the Duke of Milan from 1483 till 1499 and from 1508 till 1513.

I would like to investigate if and in what extent Leonardo da Vinci was or wanted to be a painter. For someone who only completed 20 paintings in a lifetime you might question his ambition to be an artist after all. In one of his last writings in 1518, Leonardo stops writing because perche la minesstra si fredda, his soup gets cold. In Charles Nicholls biography about Leonardo da Vinci there is an attempt to bridge the image of Leonardo as superhuman and the real person. I am very curious how the National Gallery deals with Leonardo’s fame and how they present him, as homo universalis, as an artist or a person worried about his soup getting cold. The National Gallery holds back 500 admission tickets for sale every morning of the exhibition. Queuing begins at 6am. The museum’s doors open at 10am, and the website warns of a four-hour wait. Those who persevere and get a ticket may have to wait much longer. This is a timed-ticket exhibition to help regulate visitor numbers, so it may be five hours later before one gets in. That is what generates the question: Is a blockbuster art show worth queueing for? Or will the crowds spoil the art experience?

Rosebud is the online research diary of Anna No Picture: master Arts and Sciences, Artistic Research 2012

Donker, B. (2011) Mooier dan de natuur zelf. NRC Handelsblad. Cultureel Supplement p.8 - 9.

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