The Conversation

Old masters rarely come more venerable (and venerated) and instantly recognisable than Leonardo da Vinci. But to think of Leonardo as an Old Master – with all its connotations of being staid, traditional, somehow old-fashioned and boring – is to do this extraordinary man a grave injustice. There is nothing stale or predictable about a man whose personal foibles irritated and frustrated contemporaries as much as his brilliance and creativity dazzled and awed them. One thing is for sure: whatever Leonardo was, old and boring he was not.

May 2 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in Amboise in France, and this milestone is celebrated in flurry of activity including – in the UK – a brilliant and imaginative series of 12 simultaneous exhibitions around the country, each comprising 12 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci drawn from the Royal Collection at Windsor. …Read More

Pictured: Is there no end to his talent? A self-portrait of Leoardo da Vinci.