We will visit the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace to see a special exhibition of over 200 of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings belonging to the Royal Collection and not normally on view to the public. The drawings, obtained during the reign of Charles II, have been kept together as a group since the artist’s death exactly 500 years ago. The exhibition entitled ‘Leonardo -A life in drawing’ provides a unique opportunity to see the largest exhibition of his work in over 65 years. Scientific research on the drawings has provided new information about Leonardo’s working practices and the materials he used. Two apparently blank sheets will be displayed for the first time as, under ultraviolet light, beautiful drawings of hands are revealed, studies for ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ (c1481).
In the afternoon we will walk (3/4 mile) past Buckingham Palace and beside Green Park to the magnificent home of the Duke of Wellington, which once had the address ‘Number 1, London’’. Designed by Robert Adam it contains one of the finest art collections in London, some 3000 items, including paintings by Velazquez and Rubens, sculpture, silver and porcelain. The palatial interiors have changed very little since the time of the Duke’s victory at Waterloo. Look out for the ‘surprising’ statue of Wellington’s opponent, Napoleon.