BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Museum date for da Vinci drawings
One of the notebooks includes a drawing of hair and skin on the human head

Notebooks crammed with Leonardo da Vinci's inventions, observations and theories are to go on display at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

The exhibition will bring together 60 examples of drawings by the Renaissance artist, who died in 1519.

Among the drawings on display will be anatomical sketches, elaborate stage designs, and architectural models for water clocks and spiral staircases.

Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design opens September.

Computer animation

Exhibition curator, Professor Martin Kemp, said: "Leonardo da Vinci's manuscripts reveal to us his thought processes.

"They have no parallel in any period and anyone wanting to understand the workings of Leonardo's mind should turn to these notebooks.

"The notebooks question everything and investigate every aspect of nature.

"Unlike other artists of the period, Leonardo used his notebooks not as workings for finished paintings but as a vehicle to understand the world around him."

Some of the drawings have been loaned to the museum by the Queen.

Others are from the V&A's own Codex Forster set of manuscripts, while the British Library has also lent sheets.


Because the 500-year-old pages are so small, visitors to the exhibition will be restricted to three people per drawing.

As part of the exhibition, the V&A will use computer animation to bring some of Leonardo's drawings to life, including his drawings of human figures and horses in motion.

"If you look at Leonardo's drawings you get a real sense that he wanted them to move, to do something beyond the limits of the graphic medium," Professor Kemp added.

"He was the first person to try to represent motion on paper in that way.

"We will be getting inside the processes of how they flow and how they move."

Queen's da Vinci art starts tour
18 Mar 06 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific