It isn’t easy to be objective about Leonardo da Vinci. The moment you confront the ultimate Renaissance Man, you’re hit by five hundred years of hyperbole – from Vasari to Dan Brown – that knocks rational assessment aside. The ludicrous £460 million paid for his Salvator Mundi – the highest sum ever for a painting – confirms his status as a figure to whom the normal rules don’t apply.
The one place you can get an intimate sense of Leonardo, however, is through his drawings, 200 of which are displayed in a new exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, London, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. In terms of numbers of works, it is the biggest UK Leonardo exhibition since 1952. All are drawn...
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