Turin, Leonardo's Self-Portrait from the Royal Library returns to public view

From April 15 to April 25, 2022, Leonardo da Vinci's Self-Portrait returns to the public view at the Royal Library of Turin, as part of the exhibition "Face to Face with Leonardo," along with other drawings by the genius.

From April 15 to 25, 2022, the Royal Museums of Turin will open the Royal Library to the public for an extraordinary exhibition of the Codex on the Flight of Birds and thirteen drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, including the famous Self-Portrait.

The exhibition entitled Face to Face with Leonardo aims to recount a set of works of the highest value, through which the activity of the great genius is witnessed, from his beginnings in Florence to his Milanese studies dedicated to machines,anatomy, proportions and expressions of the human face, and flight.

Experienced guides will lead visitors to discover Leonardo’s corpus up close: the artist’s work and his tireless pursuit of perfection are made clearly visible by the strokes penned with red or black stone, pen or ink, blurred with quick brush strokes or made voluminous by touches of white lead. Drawing is indeed one of Leonardo da Vinci’s favorite means of expression, and he will use it throughout his life.

The thirteen drawings trace the entire artistic career of Leonardo da Vinci, from his beginnings around 1480 to his final years, c. 1515-17, documenting the entire panorama of his interests and experiments. Some drawings are related to well-known and celebrated works by the master, from the Battle of Anghiari to the Virgin of the Rocks; others bear witness to projects that were never realized, from the Sforza and Trivulzio monuments to the statue of Hercules for Piazza della Signoria.

The exhibition will be preceded by a visit to the Library’s courtly salon, designed by royal architect Pelagio Palagi, with a vault frescoed by painters Angelo Moia and Antonio Trefogli, and an introduction to the history of Leonardo’s collection and its arrival in Turin.

The particular characteristics of the works on paper, which are particularly fragile and sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and to light, limit the possibilities of public enjoyment, imposing short exhibition times, followed by appropriate periods of conservation rest.

Face toFace with Leonardo will be open to visitors every year during Easter week, namely from April 8 to 16, 2023, from March 30 to April 7, 2024, and from April 19 to 27, 2025.

“More than 500 years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci’s talent continues to be a source of limitless inspiration. His many insights, works and inventions are still capable of surprising and influencing us today, evidence of the inexhaustible curiosity that always fueled the great master’s research,” commented Enrica Pagella, Director of the Royal Museums. “This exhibition aims to be a guide to look out into the world of a supreme artist who made knowledge and experimentation a law of life.”

For info: www.museireali.beniculturali.it

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pictured: Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of an Old Man known as Self-Portrait, detail (c. 1515; sanguine on paper, 33.5 × 21.6 cm; Turin, Biblioteca Reale)

Turin, Leonardo's Self-Portrait from the Royal Library returns to public view
Turin, Leonardo's Self-Portrait from the Royal Library returns to public view

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