Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman
January 22–March 30, 2003
Accompanied by a catalogue
The first comprehensive survey of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings ever presented in America, this international loan exhibition brings together nearly 120 works of extraordinary beauty by one of the great masters of all time, surveying his staggering contribution as an artist, scientist, theorist, and teacher. Gathered from private and public collections in Europe and North America, the selection of drawings includes rarely exhibited works and illustrates a great variety of drawing types—from quickly sketched primi pensieri (first thoughts) to highly finished preparatory and presentation drawings—as well as landscape, botanical, anatomical, and military engineering drawings of monumental expression, reflecting virtually every aspect of the artist's artistic and intellectual achievement.
Of special importance are the numerous studies for some of his most famous paintings—including the Virgin and Child with St. Anne, the Adoration of the Magi, The Last Supper, and the now-lost Battle of Anghiari—as well as the extraordinary loan of the Vatican Museum's St. Jerome Praying in the Wilderness, an unfinished painting that shows much of the artist's original underdrawing. Comprehensive in scope, the exhibition also features many of Leonardo's celebrated anatomical and plant studies and designs for machines. In addition, a selection of approximately twenty-five drawings by his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio and his circle, as well as by Leonardo's pupils and followers, provide a context for the great artist's legacy.