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Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing event programme announced

Release date: Thursday, 25 April 2019

On 24 May 2019, more than 200 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci will go on display in Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (24 May – 13 October). Selected entirely from the unrivalled holdings of the Royal Collection, the exhibition is the largest display of Leonardo’s work in more than 65 years and marks the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. An accompanying programme of events, from an escape room and yoga classes to dance performances and Renaissance pageants, will bring the work of this extraordinary artist to life for visitors of all ages.

Highlights of the events programme include:


Adult events

Escape Room: Leonardo Artmergency!

Fridays and Saturdays from 14 June to 5 October

Games start at 18:15, 18:45, 19:15 and 19:45

Teams of four to eight players. £150 per team.

For the first time, The Queen’s Gallery will be transformed into an escape room of puzzles and riddles. Think like a Renaissance genius to unlock the mysteries in Leonardo’s drawings, and try to beat the clock in solving the mystery of the missing curator.

Produced in collaboration with History Mystery.


In Conversation: Andrew Graham-Dixon and Martin Clayton

Thursday, 13 June, 19:00–21:00, £15.00.

Writer and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon joins curator Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust to discuss how drawing served as Leonardo’s laboratory, allowing him to work out his ideas on paper and search for the universal laws that he believed underpinned all of creation.


A closer look: Leonardo da Vinci’s materials and techniques

Thursday, 20 June, 19:00–21:00, £15.00.

In this talk, conservator Alan Donnithorne and curator Martin Clayton will demonstrate the methods and materials used by Leonardo in his drawings, and explore how these techniques influenced the artist’s creative process.


Yoga with an Old Master

Wednesday, 10 July; Wednesday, 11 September; and Wednesday, 9 October, 18:30–20:30, £20.00.

Start your evening with a 60-minute vinyasa flow yoga class in the gallery, designed in response to Leonardo’s extraordinary anatomical insights and meticulous observation of the world. Following the class, stay for an exclusive private view of the exhibition.


Thursday late: A Leonardo pageant

Thursday, 11 July, 19:00–21:00, £20.00.

As part of his work for the courts of Milan and France, Leonardo devised extravagant pageants and masques. A Leonardo-inspired evening of entertainment at The Queen’s Gallery will include lute music, talks, storytelling and mask-making, as well as complimentary wine and cheese and a private view of the exhibition.


Creative social: Speedy sketches and longer looks

Tuesday, 17 September, 19:00–21:00, £15.00.

Learn to draw like Leonardo in a fun and relaxed drawing workshop, then enjoy a private view of the exhibition with a glass of wine. A perfect evening to share with friends.


Concert: The Sixteen

Saturday, 26 September, 19:00–21:00, £35.00.  

Acclaimed choir The Sixteen presents a special evening of music by Leonardo’s contemporaries, including Josquin de Prez, Palestrina and Thomas Tallis.


Dancing with da Vinci

Thursday, 10 October, 19:00–21:00, £20.00.

Join dancers from London Contemporary Dance School, part of The Place, as they respond to Leonardo’s depiction of movement in a specially choreographed performance in The Queen’s Gallery.


Family events

The Secret Drawing Club

Thursday, 30 May; Friday, 31 May; and Saturday, 1 June, 11:30 and 14:00. Free with admission.

Try your hand at drawing like Leonardo with the help of artists from the Secret Drawing Club, using the same materials and paper that Leonardo would have used 500 years ago. 


Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 24 May – 13 October 2019. 

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