This year is the five-hundredth anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, and the museum world has not been slow to celebrate the career of this most remarkable—and marketable—of Renaissance artists. Of the many exhibitions being held this year, the two most significant were forecast to be shows in London and Paris presenting sizeable tranches of, respectively, Leonardo’s surviving drawings and his paintings. In London, the Royal Collection Trust has placed in Buckingham Palace the Queen’s matchless collection of Leonardo’s drawings (May 24 through October 13, 2019), while the Louvre will host the most comprehensive viewing of his paintings—fourteen of fewer than twenty surviving works—ever brought together in a single place (October 24, 2019 through February 24, 2020). Crowd-control measures—the Louvre received more than ten million visitors last year, up to...


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