Magical Leonardo

During my London trip I managed to get a slot to see the Da Vinci drawings in the Queen’s Gallery.

Marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, this exhibition showed more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s greatest drawings in the Royal Collection. There was but one word to describe them: they were magical.

 

 

 

Loving works on paper as I do, I literally did not know where to look first: there were the most delicate flowers and plants, drawn with the precision of a botanist, yet filled with life in a unique way. It was a known fact that if Leonardo had to put a few flowers in the corner of a painting, he made dozens of studies before deciding which to use. Look at those acorns below, they seem to glow on the page.

 

 

 

Then there were maps which must have made the adventure-loving amongst his peers long to go off and explore.

 

 

The drawings in the Royal Collection used to be bound up in a book that was acquired by Charles II. The pages have now been separated so that the drawings can be shown in their full beauty. They provide an extraordinary insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.

See below his scheme on how to breach a fortress’s walls.

 

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A book about music

imageThings are still festering in Greece, and no end in sight. The political scene is roiling as Tsipras tries to control his errant government, while the economy is suffering death throes and most people have had to abandon all thoughts of a holiday. The  fires are out for now, but the meltemi still blows and the danger is not yet past. The destruction has been immense.

As a relief from the constant stream of bad news, I thought I’d share some of the drawings I’m doing for a music book for children.  Written by two friends, pianists and music teachers Sia Antonaka and Roubini Mentzelopoulou, it’s a story about players of classical and modern music fighting with each other but finally ending up playing in harmony. It’s aimed at kids aged 6 – 10, and will be published by the end of the year. The book will include a cd and other teaching material, and hopes to encourage children to sing and enjoy rhythm.

It’s been very soothing as well as a lot of fun doing the drawings. For those interested, I used markers and aquarelle pencils.

 

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