Venice hosts rare Leonardo drawings exhibition

August 28, 2013

Fifty-two drawings by Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci are going on show in Venice from Thursday, including the famous but rarely-seen Vitruvian Man charting the ideal proportions of the human body.

The show in the city's Galleria dell'Academia displays works from the museum's own archives as well as from the collections of the British Royal Family, the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and the Louvre.

"Leonardo da Vinci: The Universal Man" charts his artistic and scientific research, including on botany, mechanics, optics and warfare as well as preparatory sketches for some of his most famous works.

The Vitruvian Man, from the museum's collection, has not been seen in public in 30 years but is an iconic image seen on T-shirts and posters around the world.

It was based on the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, who sought the same proportions of the in nature and used them in building.

The exhibition runs from August 29 to December 1.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a polymath who embodied the humanist values of the Renaissance.

Exhibition curator Annalisa Perissa Torriani said the display was intended to give visitors an insight into the inner workings of Leonardo's mind.

It "shows Leonardo reasoning and translating from his brain to his hand but always retracing his steps to add corrections and additions," she said.

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