A unique ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing price­less draw­ings by the Tus­can mas­ter on loan from the col­lec­tion of Queen El­iz­a­beth II is cur­rently on dis­play at the church of Santa Maria delle Gra­zie.

Where Milan - - CONTENTS - By Elena Pev­er­ata

A unique ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures price­less draw­ings by Leonardo da Vinci at Santa Maria delle Gra­zie

Af­ter the Duomo, the first thing that a tourist usu­ally wants to see in Mi­lan is Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Sup­per, one of the most ad­mired and most re­pro­duced paint­ings in the world. This wall paint­ing – be­cause that's what it ac­tu­ally is – was painted by Leonardo us­ing a tech­nique that, though ground-break­ing for the era, was chem­i­cally im­per­fect. By the early 16th cen­tury, the paint had started to flake and de­cay, re­sult­ing, over the cen­turies, in nu­mer­ous restora­tions. This ex­plains why vis­its to this frag­ile mas­ter­piece are scrupu­lously planned and lim­ited to 15 min­utes per group. But un­til 13 Jan­uary visi­tors will be granted an ex­tra five min­utes view­ing time, thanks to a spe­cial event. For three months, an ex­hi­bi­tion mounted in the same room as the wall paint­ing will fea­ture ten draw­ings, seven of which are prepara­tory sheets ex­e­cuted by Leonardo, plus an ad­di­tional two tra­di­tion­ally at­trib­uted to Ce­sare da Sesto but here as­signed to the Tus­can mae­stro, as well as one draw­ing at­trib­uted to his favourite pupil, Francesco Melzi. These price­less draw­ings, ex­e­cuted us­ing dif­fer­ent tech­niques, were cre­ated based on Leonardo's early ideas for the Last Sup­per. The draw­ings are on spe­cial loan from the Royal Col­lec­tion Trust of Wind­sor owned by Queen El­iz­a­beth II, and rep­re­sent a unique op­por­tu­nity to gain insight into the mind of the artist by study­ing his work.

>> Early ideas for The Last Sup­per. 11 Oc­to­ber 2018 - 13 Jan­uary 2019 Museo del Ce­na­colo Vin­ciano. Pi­azza Santa Maria delle Gra­zie, 2. www.ce­na­colovin­

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