The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery has been billed as this year's 'hottest ticket in town' and 'must-see show.' As a result of this billing it was somewhat spoilt by the fact that it was so incredibly busy, though I appreciate that this will be the case for such a rare chance to see two thirds of his surviving paintings together. Althought it felt like being in Tate Modern's (permanent) Collection Display's on a Saturday or Sunday mid-afternoon, at least in the Leonardo all the visitors were actually coming in to see the art. It is understandable that the exhibition was 'filled out' by artworks that were not by Leonardo himself, when considering that most of Leonardo's pictures produced in Milan have been attributed to his followers in the past.
My highlights of the show included these works, all by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) himself, in order of appearance:
Studies of the human skull (1489)
Pen and ink on paper. The Royal Collection © 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Christ as Salvator Mundi (about 1499 onward)
Oil on walnut. Private Collection
(According to an online Telegraph review of the show, this work was only attributed to the hand of Leonardo in summer this year).
'The Burlington House Cartoon' (about 1499-1500)
Charcoal heightened with white chalk on paper, mounted on canvas. The National Gallery, London
Five character studies ('A man tricked by gypsies') (about 1490-3)
Pen and ink on paper. The Royal Collection © 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II