I found the Louvre’s great Leonardo 500th. anniversary exhibition magnificent, on a gigantic scale, but hard to absorb, because it requires a great deal of time, close study of the drawings and calm reflection – and that is, of course, exactly what one doesn’t get at a vernissage, just hosts of people and an atmosphere which militates against concentration. Also, the lights went out half way through. Actually, it was quite exciting seeing it in the dark, lit up by mobile phones.
But, anyway, it was wonderful to see the Benois Madonna from St. Petersburg:-
And St. Jerome from the Vatican:-
La Belle Ferronière:-
There’s a big room of sensational drawings, showing off Leonardo’s restlessness and constant investigation of all aspects of the natural world.
A sheet of studies from the Royal Collection:-
His interest in structure:-
Compasses from the Codex Atlanticus:-
His notebooks (this from the Institut de France):-
You start wondering if there is any aspect of the world, he wasn’t interested in – archaeology, waves, structures, mathematics, bones:-
The Madonna and Child from Drumlanrig:-
And the Louvre’s own Virgin and Child with St. Anne:-