Friday, November 22, 2019

Leonardo at the Louvre

Tuesday morning I took Bear to the LOUVRE to see the LEONARDO DA VINCI exhibit celebrating the 500th year anniversary of his death (1452-1519). An astonishing exhibition of 200 works including 11 of his total 15 paintings (some took 10 years to complete). This is primarily a drawing show so do your homework. If you're a former art student or art history major, no problem. You'll have seen these drawings repeatedly in old master drawing books.  
Seeing them 'in the flesh' is a wonderful shock. Otherwise YOUTUBE has a wealth of Da Vinci videos for pre-immersion. The first room you enter consists of Large bronze by Verrochio of “Christ and St Thomas” surrounded by charcoal value drawings on canvas, DRAPERY studies by Da Vinci of sculptor ANDREA DEL VERROCHIO when he served his apprenticeship in Florence as his assistant in 1468.
 Traditionally art school began with a year of endless black and white charcoal studies of plaster casts. How I hated doing CAST STUDIES. I hated the powdery charcoal all over my hands and everything else. Instead I did line drawings and always regretted missing out on this important basic process before working with color. To see so many Da Vinci early VALUE STUDIES in one place is thrilling but for the non-art student may be boring.Still its the groundwork for all his future masterpieces.
There are many small sketches. I was glad I brought a magnifying glass.
Leonardo did THUMBNAILS (called timbre in French and some are postage stamp-sized).
He worked from Greek casts for Leda and the swan.
Large monochromatic  'reflectograms' show you the original underdrawings beneath the completed oil painting, Saint Anne,theVirgin and infant Jesus playingwith a lamb.
This study of an outstretched arm is sublime.Everything is sublime here.
So many enigmatic smiles you don't miss the left-out Mona Lisa.
Pages of the Codex Atlanticus from Milan’s Ambrosian Library show him exploring geometry, optics and his fascination with flight. In Milan by chance I fell into the Leonardo3 museum containing 130 working models of machines he designed near Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Easy to grab a gelato after. No gelato at the Louvre sadly. I came home and fell into bed to recuperate. 
The crowds didn't seem too bad but I booked for 9:30am, the first time slot (PRE-BOOKING is mandatory).
Arrive at the Passage Richelieu entrance (not the pyramid) at least a 1/2 hour early. I brought along Bear and a magnifying glass and sketched the Passage while waiting. Leonardo da Vinci is on until February 24 at the LOUVRE. I hope you get to see it.Enjoy ParisBreakfast with your cuppa ☕️ and keep Bear in Paris with a letter subscription from my Etsy shopBear 🐻 is still snoozing zzzz

15 comments:

  1. I saw some of the sketches in Liverpool at the Walker earlier this year. And yes, I wished I'd brought a magnifier with me!

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    1. Such fluid magical lines. Easy to walk by and not notice.
      Easy to miss without a glass in hand..

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  2. I would be over the moon. Madonna/St. Anne is one of my favorites and I love the "cartoon" in the National Gallery. I hope that was there too. The sketches are fascinating and I've seen more than a few (thank you, art history class!) but to see such a collection and body of work together had to be spectacular.

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    1. The National Gallery St. Anne 'cartoon' is of course there. Simply astonishing.
      Like a Pandora's box of treasures.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing. Love to see this.

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  4. Allie in NY10:07 AM

    This is a wonderful blog on Da Vonci !!!
    Kudos to you.

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    1. Thanks Allie,
      It was a bit of work to get some perspective on it.
      The curators set the bar very high imho.
      But the genious and grace of his work shines through.

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  5. He was such a gifted artist. Thank you for sharing. I've bought one of your watercolours to help keep Bear in Paris. They are gorgeous!

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    1. Ahhh...Bear thanks you profusely and sends a bear hug
      🐻❤️

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  6. What an opportunity - DaVinci is certainly in a league of his own. So glad Bear got to go with you, I'm sure he loved it too.

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  7. Bonelle9:12 PM

    Thank you for this! What a wonderful peek into the DaVinci exhibit. Good to know what to expect...so much to see

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  8. Sally3:41 AM

    Love the posture of the real woman in black with upswept hair and shoulder bag. S.

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    1. know. Looks like Emily Dickenson 👍🏻

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  9. SO glad you had a good time at the DaVinci, thanks for the preview.
    Can't wait to see it!

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  10. Anonymous1:52 AM

    Thanks for the tour, Carol. Looks fabulous.
    MR

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