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Saturday 9 August to Sunday 2 November 2008
Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci
An Exhibition to Celebrate the Sixtieth Birthday of HRH The Prince of Wales

 leonardo da vinci at the stirling smith An Exhibition to Celebrate the Sixtieth Birthday of HRH The Prince of Wales Graciously loaned by Her Majesty The Queen

To celebrate the 60th birthday of HRH The Prince of Wales on 14 November 2008, ten of the Royal Collection's finest drawings by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) will travel to museums and galleries across the United Kingdom in 2008-9. The exhibition will visit The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling from 8th August to 2nd November 2008.

The Royal Collection contains the world's most important group of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. These delicate works are preserved in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle and are among the greatest treasures of the Collection. Leonardo's drawings are the richest, most wide-ranging, technically brilliant and endlessly fascinating of any artist, and this exhibition has been selected to demonstrate the extraordinary scope of his interests. It includes studies for painting, sculpture and architecture; a beautiful portrait of a young woman and a caricature of a grotesque old man; two exquisite studies of a dissected human skull and two of plants; a drawing of an arsenal, probably intended for a treatise on warfare; a highly accurate map of the river Arno, surveyed by Leonardo himself; a design for a dragon costume and an apocalyptic image of a deluge. The drawings demonstrate all the techniques and materials that Leonardo routinely used - metalpoint, pen and ink, brush and ink, watercolour, and red and black chalks.

Leonardo da Vinci was the archetypal 'Renaissance man', accomplished in painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. Yet beyond a handful of paintings, most of his great projects were never completed. His surviving drawings are therefore our main source of knowledge of his extraordinary achievements. According to Martin Clayton, Deputy Curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle and author of several books about Leonardo, 'we can often grasp the true nature of Leonardo's intentions only through his drawings'.


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