Leonardo da Vinci the star of major London show

  • The World Before Her First Look Launch

    The World Before Her First Look Launch

    The World Before Her First Look Launch

    The event was the first look launch of the award winning documentary The World Before Her. Also present at the launch were Chak De India director Shimit Amin,actress Sandhya Mridul and former Miss India Pooja Chopra. …

  • WIRED Live - Optogenetics and Enhancing Brain Functions

    WIRED Live - Optogenetics and Enhancing Brain Functions

    WIRED Live - Optogenetics and Enhancing Brain Functions

    With optogenetics, the ability to restore and enhance brain function is becoming a reality. In this World Economic Forum discussion, Nature magazine neuroscience editor I-han Chou explains how the radical method works and the ethical issues it could cause. …

  • Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit

    Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit

    Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit

    President Obama arrived in Tokyo Wednesday night for a four-country visit to the Asia-Pacific region. Obama's travels through Asia aim to reassure partners about the renewed U.S. commitment to the region. (April 23) …

LONDON (AP) — It has masterpieces, media frenzy, a contested gem — everything but the "Mona Lisa." London's latest blockbuster art show confirms Leonardo da Vinci as a Renaissance rock star.

A new exhibition of the artist's paintings at London's National Gallery is opening amid A-list levels of hype and anticipation.

The BBC asked viewers: "Is this the greatest art exhibition ever?" Tuesday's VIP preview is being broadcast live on television and in 40 British movie theaters.

"Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan" focuses on da Vinci's formative years as a court artist in the 1480s and 1490s. The gallery spent five years persuading museums in Italy, France, the United States, Russia and Poland to lend fragile works for the show, which gathers nine of Leonardo's 15 surviving paintings and dozens of his drawings.

"There are many loans we only seriously dreamt would come here," said National Gallery director Nicholas Penny. "Everything we dreamt of has come true."

There is no "Mona Lisa" — it was created later, after Leonardo had left Milan — and no "Last Supper," which remains in Milan's Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The show does include a full-scale copy of the mural by one of Leonardo's students, as well as the master's preparatory sketches and other drawings — many loaned by Queen Elizabeth II, who owns one of the world's largest collections of them.

There are sights to stir art-lovers' hearts, including two versions of the Biblical scene "The Virgin of the Rocks" which have never been shown together. One usually hangs in the Louvre in Paris, while the other — once thought to be a studio copy but now restored and validated as the master's work — is owned by the National Gallery. The show's curator, Luke Syson, said even Leonardo probably never saw them in the same room.

Another talking point is "Christ as Salvator Mundi," a formerly disputed portrait that sold at auction in 1958 for just 45 pounds, but which the gallery says is an authentic da Vinci work.

The painting, which shows Christ face-on, holding up one hand in blessing and grasping a crystal orb in the other, still has its doubters, but has recently been valued at $200 million. It is owned by R.W. Chandler, a consortium represented by New York art historian and dealer Robert Simon.

The exhibition, which opens Wednesday and runs to Feb. 5, is expected to be one of the most popular in the gallery's 187-year history and is already sold out until mid-December. To avoid it being overrun, the gallery is selling 180 tickets every 30 minutes, 50 fewer than it is allowed under health and safety rules, and is extending opening hours to accommodate demand.

Beyond the hype, Syson said he hoped the show would "refocus attention on Leonardo the painter" — rather than the scientist, inventor, architect or sculptor.

"First and foremost, Leonardo was trained as a painter, and he thought as a painter, even when he was working on other things," Syson said.

"Careful, detailed, precise observation" was at the root of all he did, Syson said. "Trusting what he could see, rather than what he could read."

The exhibition traces the development of da Vinci's technique and artistic vision under the patronage of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan — "the classic wicked uncle, the despot," Syson said, but also an art-loving aristocrat who gave Leonardo money and time to explore his ideas.

Syson said that when da Vinci arrived in Milan from Florence, aged about 30, Leonardo was already "unprecedentedly curious about the world around him."

He injected a new naturalism into painting. Plants in the first "Virgin of the Rocks" are depicted in almost microscopic detail. Portrait subjects had traditionally been depicted in profile, but Leonardo turned them so they look toward the viewer. He strove to capture his subjects' thoughts and emotions on their faces. "The Lady With an Ermine," a depiction of his patron's 16-year-old mistress, has a teasing, inward expression, while "The Belle Ferronniere" — based on the duke's wife — looks boldly and challengingly at the viewer.

"These are much more than simple likenesses of people," Syson said.

In "The Madonna Litta," on loan from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Virgin's idealized beauty is complemented by the breast-feeding baby's cheeky gaze toward the viewer.

Later, Leonardo began to seek perfection, seeing himself as "somebody whose talent is, in a sense, fed by God himself" and striving to depict a kind of absolute beauty.

"I think 100 years later he would have got into trouble with the Inquisition," because of his unorthodox ideas on art and religion, Syson said.

"He believed painting could represent not just everything that was visible, but all that was invisible in the universe."


Online: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

  • "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda 3 hours ago
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda

    Adakah anda merupakan seorang yang pelupa dan selalu kehilangan kunci akibat terlupa di mana anda meletakknya? …

  • Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:31 PM MYT
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden

    Wanita yang berlitup kini tampil dengan pelbagai fesyen terkini dan gaya yang lebih moden disamping mengekalkan ciri-ciri Muslimah. …

  • Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi!
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi! Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:33 AM MYT
    Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi!

    Gabungan pakaian musim panas yang menarik dan pemilihan topi yang sesuai, dapat menyerlahkan seri imej seseorang. …

  • Tips, serious and not, for keeping squirrels away
    SARAH WOLFE - Associated Press
    Tips, serious and not, for keeping squirrels away 11 minutes ago
    Tips, serious and not, for keeping squirrels away

    They're vermin to some. Cunning adversaries to others. Squirrels have long been a source of fascination and frustration for gardeners and bird enthusiasts engaged in a near-constant battle to keep them away from the nuts and seeds put out for birds. …

  • Five tips to protect your eyes
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Five tips to protect your eyes Mon, Apr 21, 2014 12:50 PM MYT
    Five tips to protect your eyes

    Just like every other part of your body, your eyes need to be protected too. …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.