Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty opens 21 February 2015 at the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, where it will remain on view through 5 April. The exhibition features a number of the most admired drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). This exhibition explores the artist’s concepts of ideal beauty. Throughout his career, Leonardo experimented with different types of drawings: scientific studies made from life, grotesque caricatures, and the most beautiful images of men and women that he could envision. Because he left so few paintings, Leonardo’s drawings have been recognized for centuries as the deepest window into his thinking. The Codex on Flight, an important loan from the Biblioteca Reale, Turin, features a newly discovered self-portrait from 1505. The exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it will be on view from 15 April through 14 June 2015.

Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the ‘Virgin of the Rocks’), about 1483–85. Metalpoint on paper. Biblioteca Reale, Turin. Italy/Alinari/The Bridgeman Library.

Heads of an Old Man and a Youth, 1495-1500. Red chalk on paper. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Folio from the Codex on the Flight of Birds, ca. 1505. Biblioteca Reale, Turin.

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