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Exhibition

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing

12 cities, one celebration, 1 February – 6 May 2018

Leonardo da Vinci
Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci attributed to Leonardo Melzi ©

The year 2019 sees the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest artists and scientists the world has known.

Leonardo was perhaps unique in the range of his achievements, and drawing lay at the heart of his creativity. He drew to prepare his artistic projects, to record the world around him, to pursue his scientific speculations, and to make visible the workings of his imagination.

The Royal Collection holds the finest surviving group of Leonardo’s drawings – more than 550 sheets that have been together since Leonardo’s death, acquired by King Charles II around 1670. As paper is damaged by light, these drawings cannot be on permanent display. So to mark this anniversary, Royal Collection Trust is collaborating with twelve museums and galleries to stage simultaneous exhibitions of Leonardo’s drawings across the United Kingdom. In the summer of 2019 all these drawings will be brought together in a single exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery in London, followed by a selection of these works at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh in the winter of 2019-20.

The exhibition

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The head of a youth in profile

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Sketches of a woman, bust length

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A nude youth as St John the Baptist

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Two grotesque profiles

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A standing male nude

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies of a baby

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The major organs and vessels

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A woman in a landscape

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The arm of St Peter

Map & directions

manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, M2 3JL