Join exhibition curators Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Isabella Manning as they tour the highlights of the exhibition ‘Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace’. With an introduction from Director of the Royal Collection Tim Knox.
The exhibition brings together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Usually on public view during the annual Summer Opening of the Palace, the paintings will be shown in The Queen’s Gallery while Reservicing works are carried out to protect the historic building for future generations. The Picture Gallery was originally designed by the architect John Nash for George IV to display his collection of Dutch, Flemish and Italian Old Master paintings. Artists represented in the exhibition include Titian, Guercino, Guido Reni, Vermeer, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens, Jan Steen, Claude and Canaletto.
The 200 pages on display at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, have been together since the artist’s death. They were bound by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni in about 1590 and entered the Royal Collection during the reign of Charles II. Some of his most iconic images are here, including his study of a foetus in the womb, made as part of a treatise on anatomy that came close to being finished, but was never published.
Leonardo da Vinci: A Closer Look is a revolutionary re-examination of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings, of his techniques and of his creative thinking process. It showcases 80 of Leonardo’s finest works on paper from the Royal Collection, using specialist photographic techniques to examine his working practices. One by one, Leonardo’s processes of creation are revealed, from his choice of paper and the composition of the specialist grounds used for his drawings, to his first touches in chalk, ink or metalpoint, and on to the finished compositions.
Many of these features are of course invisible to the naked eye, and have been so for centuries, ever since Leonardo took his pen from the paper. Infrared images reveal underdrawings unseen for 500 years, published here for the first time. Ultraviolet photography brings back to life now-vanished metalpoint sketches; while spectrographic analysis allows us to explore the origin and precise chemistry of Leonardo’s papers and grounds.