Leonardo da Vinci


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Painter at the Court of Milan

Luke Syson; With Larry Keith, Arturo Galansino, Antonio Mazzotta, Minna Moore Ede, Scott Nethersole, and Per Rumberg

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Leonardo da Vinci's reputation as an inventor and scientist, and the complexity of his creativity and personality, have sometimes almost overshadowed the importance of his aims and techniques as a painter. This catalogue focuses on a crucial period in the 1480s and 1490s when, as a salaried court artist to Duke Ludovico Sforza in the city-state of Milan, freed from the pressures of making a living in the commercially minded Florentine republic, Leonardo produced some of the most celebrated—and influential—work of his career. The Last Supper, his two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks, and the beautiful portrait of Ludovico's mistress, Cecilia Gallerani (The Lady with an Ermine), were paintings that set a new standard for his Milanese contemporaries. Leonardo's style was magnified, through collaboration and imitation, to become the visual language of the regime, and by the time he returned to Florence in 1500, his status had been utterly transformed. 

Published by National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press

Exhibition Schedule:

National Gallery, London

Luke Syson is Curator of Italian paintings before 1500 and Head of Research at the National Gallery, London. His previous publications include Renaissance Siena: Art for a City and, as co-author, Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court and Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy. Larry Keith, Arturo Galansino, Antonio Mazzotta, Minna Moore Ede, Scott Nethersole, and Per Rumberg are all present or former members of staff at the National Gallery, London.


National Gallery, London

“…. [A] scholarly and handsomely illustrated book….”—The Times

“….full of up-to-the-minute scholarship, is sumptuously tempting.”—Michael Glover, The Independent

“The current Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery looks set to go down in the annals as among the most spectacular shows of our century. And the catalogue that accompanies it is far more than a mere memento. Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan presents a thoroughly scholarly and extensively illustrated piece of work that subtly shifts the emphasis of how we have come to look at this Renaissance master…..It is written with refreshing clarity and infused with its author’s manifest passion for the work.”—Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times (Christmas Books)

“If you missed the famous Da Vinci exhibition at The National Gallery, this is a treasure book which will make you feel as though you were there. Packed with beautiful pictures, there is also a wealth of information about the painter and the stories behind his work.”—Sophie King, Sidmouth Herald

“For all those who attended the exhibition, and even more so for those who failed to get tickets, it is an essential purchase.”—The Art Magazine
ISBN: 9781857094916
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publishing Partner: Published by National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press
320 pages, 9 1/2 x 12 3/4
255 color + 11 b/w illus.

Art and Love in Renaissance Italy

Edited by Andrea Bayer; Andrea Bayer, Beverly Louise Brown,

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Italian Renaissance Ceramics in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Timothy Wilson; With an essay by Luke Syson

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