Thursday, 26 February 2009

Da Vinci Exhibition

The Da Vinci Exhibition at The Manchester Gallery is a collection of 10 drawings from the royal collection by the Rennaissance master.
I went up to see it yesterday to get some appreciation of what it is that I've been loking at in books all these years.

The pieces on display range from preparatory sketches from observation and the imagination to contribute to later paintings and detailed drawings from observation of life subjects including some anatomical work.
His working method for sketching is described and most of the work is started as a charcoal drawing, then highlights were added with chalk, he then followed this by working into that with washes and/or ink. There is also some 'metalpoint' work, evidencing much of his famous hatching method.

The drawing of a great siege cannon being constructed in an arsenal with teams of men hoisting the great iron weapon up onto its bearings, shows well why he is appreciated as such a master draughtsman and why he was regarded in such high esteem by his peers.

What surprised me most was that all of the drawings were so very small. The intricate workings of all these sketches are more incredible for the fact that none of them are any greater than about 6inches in height.

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