Da Vinci Drawings from the Royal Collection: Birmingham Art Gallery and Aston Hall
To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen, ten of the Royal Collection's finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci will be on view at just five museums and galleries across the United Kingdom.
Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery is the first UK venue to stage this exhibition. The museum's Fine Art Curator, Victoria Osbourne, will give a short introduction to the exhibition.
The exhibition has been selected to show the extraordinary scope of Leonardo's interests, spanning painting, botany, sculpture and engineering, and his use of different media, such as pen, ink, chalks and metal point. Through drawing Leonardo attempted to record and understand the world around him, as most of his great projects were often uncompleted, his drawings are our main source of knowledge of his achievements.
In the morning, en route to Birmingham, we will take the opportunity to visit one of the last so-called 'prodigy' houses of the Jacobean age. Aston Hall was completed in 1630s, and in 1864 was acquired by Birmingham Corporation as a museum, the first urban house to be rescued by civic authorities.
Its interiors are remarkable in quantity and quality including the panelled Great Parlour, the magnificent Long Gallery and strapwork ceiling and oak timbered floor, and the Great Dining Room containing Chippendale furniture. The King Charles Room was used by the King for one night before the battle of Edgehill.