‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan’ is the most complete display of Leonardo's rare surviving paintings ever held. This unprecedented exhibition – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – brings together sensational international loans never before seen in the UK.
While numerous exhibitions have looked at Leonardo Da Vinci as an inventor, scientist or draughtsman, this is the first to be dedicated to his aims and techniques as a painter. Inspired by the recently restored National Gallery painting, The Virgin fo the Rocks, this exhibition focuses on Leonardo as an artist. In particular it concentrates on the work he produced as court painter to Duke Lodovico Sforza in Milan in the late 1480s and 1490s.
As a painter, Leonardo aimed to convince viewers of the reality of what they were seeing while still aspiring to create ideals of beauty – particularly in his exquisite portraits – and, in his religious works, to convey a sense of awe-inspiring mystery.
From this Friday, Southbank Centre hosts its second BAM festival, dedicated to ideas around Being a Man. The rest of this week’s interesting events are all about women. The more gender-fluid need not despair: this is London after all...
Ever since it opened in 1993, the Horse Hospital – based at an unspoilt, purpose-built stable in Bloomsbury dating from 1797 – has been a centre for progressive arts in London. Now its future is threatened, but owner Roger K Burton is fighting hard to keep the venue in existence. London Calling interviewed him for the latest despatch from the front line.
An abstract art exhibition celebrating the ‘asemic’ or ‘non-meaning’ opens this week, setting the tone. It’s not that the events of the week ahead are meaningless; it's just that they remind us that ‘meaning’ isn’t always the end point. Here are experimental films, an epic jazz poem, tantric practices and good old yarns. The meaning is up to you...
Culture has several meanings, especially in London. It is cultural to listen to experimental radio art, it is cultural to go to the theatre to see new writing. Culture can reflect different sexual identities and it can be an evolution from ritual, tribal practice. Sometimes culture is just a really good art exhibition. Here are five cultural ideas for this week.