Leonardo da Vinci
The Lady with an Ermine
Leonardo da Vinci
Virgin of the Rocks
Louvre version shown at the left, London version at the right
Leonardo da Vinci (attributed to)
9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012
Source: National Gallery of London / theartwolf.com
This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition features the largest ever number of works by Leonardo da Vinci, arguably the most famous and legendary artist ever. According to several sources, the estimated insurance value of the works on the exhibition is $2 billion.
A unique display of masterpieces
The “Belle Ferronnière” (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and especially “The Lady with an Ermine” rank among the finest female portraits of the Renaissance. “The Lady with an Ermine” comes from the collection of the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków, Poland, where it is exhibited since its acquisition by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. According to the National Gallery, this beautiful and enigmatic work “has been acclaimed as the first truly modern portrait”.
“St. Jerome in the Wilderness” is an unfinished masterpiece, one of the few paintings by the artist whose attribution has never been questioned. However, this can not be said of the “Portrait of a Musician” (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan).
The two versions of the Virgin of the Rocks
For the very first time, both versions of the “Virgin of the Rocks” are shown together. Commissioned in 1483, the earlier of the two versions is often considered one of the few “undisputed” works by Leonardo. It is owned by the Louvre Museum in Paris, and is unlikely ever to be loaned again. The second version, widely attributed to the mater, was bought by the National Gallery in 1880.
“I am quite sure that the experience of seeing these masterpieces juxtaposed will be one that none of us will ever forget or that will ever be repeated”, said Dr Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery.
The “rediscovered” works
Art scholars and experts have the chance to study two “rediscovered” (although still disputed) works by Leonardo da Vinci. The first is the already famous “Salvator Mundi”, owned by a group of New York art dealers. The second is the “Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress” or “La bella principessa”. Attributed by some scholars to Leonardo da Vinci in October 2009, many well-known experts, including Klaus Albrecht Schröder from the Albertina and Everett Fahy from the Metropolitan; have strongly rejected this attribution.