Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan

I got tickets to see this exhibition at the National Gallery yesterday. Apparently it is sold out (for allocated timing entry) and people queue from 7am to get the 500 tickets sold daily. On top of that we found out from the newspaper, each ticket can be sold up to £250 in the black market. I got ours for £7 … LoL. Anyway, I was not willing to give the tickets away… how often would one get to see so many paintings by Leonardo all under one roof!!

Some background. The exhibition explores Leonardo da Vinci’s time in Milan when he became court painter to the city’s ruler. His stay in Milan was the most productive period of his career and transformed his ideas on the status and purpose of art.

The highlights of the exhibition includes:

  • Viewing his drawings and sketches before he paints.
  • 2 versions of Virgin of the Rocks.
  • Portrait of a Young Man, first painting where he turn his sitter to engage the viewer. Normally elite favoured the traditional formula of being depicted in strict profile during those era.
  • The Lady with an Ermine & Belle Ferronniere
  • Leonardo’s unfinished Saint Jerome
  • Madonna Litta, picture of the Virgin and Child.
  • Christ as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World). The work was only attributed to the hand of Leonardo in summer this year.
  • The Last Supper… sort of. This was painted directly onto the wall of the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, where it remains to this day. Therefore we only saw a full-scale copy of the work before it deteriorated. It depicts the reactions of the 12 Apostles to Christ’s announcement that one of them will betray him.

    If you were like me, wondering whether Mona Lisa was on display. Unfortunately she never made it. I guess The Louvre was not ready to loan her out.

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