Leonardo exhibition Draws the Crowds

By on 23/01/2012 in Culture, News

Almost 7,000 people visited Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery during the first week of the Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, making it one of the most successful shows in the museum's history.

Visitor figures for the first seven days of the show from the Royal Collection at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery reached 6,926, an average of 989 people per day.  The busiest day so far was Sunday 15 January with approximately 200 visits to the show per hour.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is the opening venue for the national tour of ten drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), 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 public response to this magnificent display at Birmingham's world class Museum and Art Gallery.

“This exhibition, which marks the start of the Queen's Golden 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.

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