Leonardo exhibition draws the crowds

By on 15/02/2012 in Culture, News

Over 31,500 people have visited Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery during the first month of the Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, making it one of the most successful shows in the museum's history.

Visitor figures since the exhibition opened on 13 January have reached 31,533, an average of 986 people per day.  The busiest day so far was Monday 13 February when 1384 people visited the show, the highest attendance at a Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery show since the Staffordshire Hoard was first on display in 2009.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is the opening venue for the national tour of ten drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) from the Royal Collection to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is the first time that works by the Renaissance master have been on show in Birmingham.

The ten drawings in the exhibition have been selected to show the extraordinary scope of Leonardo's interests: painting and sculpture, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics and anatomy.

Amongst the works included in the exhibition is The head of Leda (c.1505-6).  The work, which is based on Greek mythology, is a preparatory drawing for the painting Leda and the Swan which was destroyed around 1700.

The drawing, which was probably acquired for the Royal Collection by Charles II shows Leda with a modest downward glance which characterises most of the women in Leonardo's paintings.  The artist has devoted minute attention to her complicated hairstyle of braided and interwoven plaits.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure Sport and Culture said:  “I am delighted by the huge public response to this magnificent show at Birmingham's world class Museum and Art Gallery.

“This exhibition, which marks the start of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, is further evidence of the city's reputation for attracting high profile exhibitions that will bring both local people and visitors to the city.”

Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci is on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery until 25 March , admission free.  For further information on Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, please visit www.bmag.org.uk.  For details on the Royal Collection please visit www.royalcollection.org.uk.


Media contact: Jason Lewis 0121 303 4266 jason.lewis@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

The Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is sponsored by Coutts

  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery                       13 January - 25 March 2012
  • Bristol Museum & Art Gallery                                    30 March - 10 June 2012
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast                                             15 June - 27 August 2012
  • The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum       31 August - 4 Nov 2012
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Hull                                             10 Nov 2012 - 20 Jan 2013

The Royal Collection contains a group of around 600 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. These delicate works are preserved in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle and are among the greatest treasures of the Collection. Although the drawings can never be on permanent display, because of the potential for damage from exposure to light, they are regularly lent to exhibitions around the world and examples are always on show at Windsor.

For further information and photographs, please contact the Royal Collection Press Office, +44 (0)20 7839 1377, press@royalcollection.org.uk. A selection of images is also available from www.picselect.com www.royalcollection.org.uk

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