Leonardo da Vinci works to go on show at National Gallery

Ten drawings are first belonging to Royal Collection to be put on display outside Britain

 Anne Hodge curator of prints and drawings at the announcement of the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland. Photograph: Maxwell Photography

Anne Hodge curator of prints and drawings at the announcement of the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland. Photograph: Maxwell Photography

 

An exhibition of 10 original Leonardo da Vinci drawings is coming to the National Gallery of Ireland in May.

The works are from the 600 da Vinci drawings belonging to the Royal Collection, art works of all kinds including furnishings and other fine art owned by Queen Elizabeth II as sovereign and collected over the past five centuries.

Irish investment management firm Key Capital is the main sponsor for the exhibition.

A small number of Royal Collection da Vincis have gone on display at venues across Britain over the past decade but May’s exhibition will be the first time that works from the collection have been put on display outside the UK.

The company regularly supports operatic and ballet performances here, but the six figure sum to support the da Vinci exhibition is one of its largest contributions it has made.

“It is a great opportunity to see these works for the wider community,” said Key Capital chief executive Conor Killeen when announcing the sponsorship on Wednesday morning.

It was exciting that original works by this great artist and scientist would be on display in Ireland, he said.

“It is going to be an amazing treat for the public,” said Seán Rainbird director of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Good mix

The varied drawings would give a good mix of the artist’s interests from anatomy to botany and engineering.

“With Leonardo you feel that the [creative] well is inexhaustible,” Mr Rainbird said on Wednesday.

The works go on display on May 4th and will remain at the gallery until July 17th.

Da Vinci exhibitions usually display facsimiles rather than original drawings, but the 10 coming to Ireland are originals.

The works will be on display across three rooms and mounted in a way that allows people to step up close to study the fine detail produced by the artist.

Admission to the exhibition is free but booking is required given the expected demand for access. Online booking will open in mid-April through the gallery’s website nationalgallery.ie