Leonardo mas­ter­pieces draw the crowds

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

What might have been one of the most price­less ex­hi­bi­tions to visit the city may have also been one of its most pop­u­lar.

Ten 500-year-old draw­ings by Leonardo Da Vinci took the city’s art gallery by storm in 2006 and gained tremen­dous foot­fall.

Work by the cel­e­brated artist ar­rived in the Gran­ite City as part of the Queen’s 80th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion.

Aberdeen Art Gallery was the only Scot­tish venue on the tour at the time and peo­ple flocked in huge num­bers to get a unique chance to view the stun­ning col­lec­tion.

Nor­mally, the works would have been pre­served in the Royal Li­brary at Wind­sor Cas­tle and they are among the great­est trea­sures of the Royal Col­lec­tion.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion holds the world’s most im­por­tant group of the Ital­ian artist’s draw­ings.

Pieces ranged from anatom­i­cal to ar­chi­tec­tural and the fa­mous bust of the Madonna from about 1503.

They were cu­rated to give vis­i­tors a sense of the Re­nais­sance painter’s ca­reer.

Leonardo’s sketches ar­rived that sum­mer on loan and at­tracted crowds, with 22,506 peo­ple vis­it­ing the gallery over five weeks com­pared to the 15,244 in the same pe­riod in 2005.

Some 1,735 peo­ple vis­ited the ex­hi­bi­tion on the open­ing week­end alone.

Aberdeen Art Gallery also staged a pro­gramme of art, dance and drama to cel­e­brate the Re­nais­sance mas­ter.

Art lovers flocked to see Leonardo draw­ings in the city

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