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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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An undisputed genius of all times, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was more concerned with becoming “an expert on everything” as curator James Ganz put it, than with marketing his mind-boggling ideas and his awe-inspiring doodles. Famous and revered for just a few paintings he’s been engaged enough to finish in his lifetime, Leonardo was producing his drawings in thousands for exercise and for his own research, never being concerned with their preservation for posterity. The exhibit of 11 drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, including three that are double-sided, and one bound notebook, dating from about 1480 to 1510, just opened at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The subjects matter ranges from anatomical studies of humans and animals to machine parts and architectural renderings. One of the sheets includes a fragment of a poem. The notebook on view is the most well known Codex on the Flight of Birds. Previously shown at the Birmingham Museum of Art, “Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin,” has been loaned to a U.S. exhibition for the first time. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, san Francisco,, 415-750-3600; Image: Leonardo da Vinci, Angel for the “Virgin of the Rocks”, ca. 1483–1485. Metal point heightened with white on prepared paper. Collection of the Biblioteca Reale, Turin, and used with permission of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, inv. no. 15572. Photograph by Fabrizio Fenucci.


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