Up close and personal with da Vinci at National Gallery

Exhibition of 10 drawings from Royal Collection allows visitors to see complexity of works

Ten drawings from the Royal Collection by Leonardo da Vinci are on exhibition in Dublin at the National Gallery of Ireland. The exhibition runs until July 17th.


An exhibition featuring 10 original drawings from the master draughtsman Leonardo da Vinci go on display to the public on Wednesday morning with visitors able to get right up to the drawings and see the complexity of the works in fine detail.

The collection represents a mix of his varied themes including drawings of animals, the human form, plants and of course engineering works and internal human organs.

The drawings come from the da Vinci collection held by the Royal Collection Trust and are brought to Dublin for the first time through the sponsorship of Key Capital.

President Michael D Higgins will formally open the exhibition on Wednesday evening and tour the display which is spread across three rooms at the Gallery.

Being able to go right up to the drawings, nearly pressing your nose to the glass, allows the person to see the complexity and artistry achieved by da Vinci.

The more than 500-year-old drawings look as sharp and new as if created in modern times. Simple explanatory boards mounted close to the works to help explain what the visitor is viewing.

There is also a short video explaining how da Vinci would have made his own drawing paper, ink quills and other materials used in the making of the drawings.

“It is a huge privilege to have these works here,” said Seán Rainbird, director of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Although the exhibition will likely be heavily visited the atmosphere in the display areas is meant to be relaxed, he said. And people will be encouraged to take their time and have a good look at the drawings.

“It is our way of saying thank you to the public”, who have been waiting patiently for construction and renewal at the gallery to be completed, he said. This has severely restricted display space at the gallery but still allows for important visiting displays such as the da Vinci drawings to be exhibited.

Leonardo da Vinci: Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection will be at the National Gallery of Ireland from May 4th-July 17th.

Access is free of charge but spaces must be pre-booked online at nationalgallery.ie