Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Leonardo in London

Leonardo Da Vinci is too well known to discuss briefly here, suffice to say that this new exhibition of some of his paintings will be the hot ticket here in London. Luckily there is a live tour tonight, on television and at selected cinemas, giving us a royal tour without all the crowds. If it is anything like the Tutankhamum exhibition back in the '70s prepare for delays ! I was in Milan back in 1974, with Franco, and stayed at a little village Vaprio D'Adda, outside Milan, which had Leonardo connections, and then on to Bergamo ...

Now though we can enjoy those spellbinding works with associated drawings; those mysterious faces, hands, the paintwork (that translucent glass globe in Salvator Mundi, right !) .... He was such a genius in other areas that he only painted about 20 pictures, 15 of which survive, so this opportunity to see 9 of them, from his Milan period (hence no Mona Lisa) is going to be hugely popular. At a time when a new movie tries to debunk Shakespeare, here is a celebration of another great Renaissance creator!

The show has now opened and all the tickets have sold, apart from 500 on sale each morning - people are getting up in the middle of the night arriving at 6.30 a.m. to queue, and such is the crowd that some are turned away. I will be joining them myself in a few weeks - we really have until the end of January to see it - as one happy viewer said: "it was like standing next to genius"!

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