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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

About the exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum

Leonardo: A Life in Drawing commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci with a display of twelve of the artist’s extraordinary drawings.

The selected works reflect the full range of Leonardo's interests and greatest achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. This display forms part of a national exhibition where 144 of the artist’s finest drawings in the Royal Collection will go on display in 12 simultaneous exhibitions across the UK, with Kelvingrove Museum being one of only two Scottish host venues.

The drawings in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since the artist's death, and provide an unparalleled insight into Leonardo's investigations and the workings of his mind. The works on display will include examples of all the drawing materials employed by the artist, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint.  Highlights of the exhibition in Glasgow include A star-of-Bethlehem and other plants C1506-12 and The anatomy of a bear's foot, c.1488-90.

There are almost 600 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection. They were originally bound into a single album, which was probably acquired in the 17th century by Charles II. Beyond the 20 or so surviving paintings by Leonardo, the artist's drawings are the main source of our knowledge of this extraordinary Renaissance man and his many activities.