Leonardo da Vinci paintings exhibition opens at National Gallery

11:51 09 November 2011

A gallery worker views Leonardo da Vinci

A gallery worker views Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Cecilia Gallerani entitled The Lady with an Ermine at the National Gallery's landmark exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan

An exhibition which brings together nine of Leonardo da Vinci’s 15 surviving paintings has opened in London.

The National Gallery show Leonardo da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan has been five years in the making.

Works by the inventor, scientist and draughtsman which are on display include his two paintings of The Virgin of the Rocks, which are being shown together for the first, and possibly the last, time.

The National Gallery’s own version, which it bought in 1880, is thought to be too delicate to travel. The other painting is being loaned from the Paris Louvre.

Many of the paintings have never been seen in Britain before.

His preparatory drawings for The Last Supper are also on display, many of them on loan from the Queen.

They are on show for the first time with the earliest-known full scale copy of The Last Supper, painted by one of his students.

The exhibition, which runs until February 5, focuses on his period in Milan, when the Renaissance master made his name.

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