June 10, 2011
‘La Belle Ferronière’
A major exhibition of Da Vinci’s work at the National Gallery aims to improve viewing experience by preventing large crowds.
The Gallery is offering visitors a once in a life time opportunity to see half of Leonardo’s paintings together at one exhibition.
The show will examine the artist’s years as a painter at the court of the ruler of Milan. It also promises to be one of the most popular art exhibitions ever. Luke Syson, the curator of the show, has expressed his delight at being able to loan even one, let alone seven, of Da Vinci’s 14 masterpieces.
The gallery’s director, Nicholas Penny has also described the show as “a great triumph in diplomacy”.
With the paintings leaving galleries in Italy and France for the first time, the National Gallery are anticipating an overwhelming demand in tickets, and are taking precautions to ensure that people aren’t too disappointed.
Penny urges visitors that it is important for them to study their website before attending the exhibition. They are able to download all of the information that people can stand and read at the exhibition, so that they can read this beforehand and prepare for the experience.
The Gallery is also reducing the number of people allowed at the show at one time. The usual health and safety limit is 230, but only 180 visitors will be admitted each half hour.
The show opens in November but people will be given plenty of time to book in advance when ticket sales are opened this month. The high demand for tickets will be intensified with the show only running for 3 months, presumably so that the Italian and French galleries can have their paintings back.
The exhibition main focus is on Leonardo’s paintings and drawings while he was a painter in the Milanese court. More than 50 drawings will be borrowed, including 33 owned by the Queen since the reign of Charles II.
Da Vinci’s collection of paintings is so small because he was such a perfectionist and was easily distracted. This meant that he often didn’t finish his art works.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan runs at the National Gallery from 9th November 2011 – 5th February 2012.