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May 11, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-11

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Arts

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, May 11, 1982

The genius of
Leonardo's art
comes to 'U'

By Michael Huget
HARDLY ANYTHING comes free
these days, so the fact that a glim-
pse into the genius of Leonardo da Vin-
ci, the quintessential Renaissance
man, can currently be found without
admission at the University Museum of
Art is exhilarating.
That this event is even here is ex-
traordinary in itself: Time has not been
kind to the works of Leonardo. Many
pieces have been lost or destroyed.'
That, coupled with the fact that the
master was not very prolific (there are
actually nine finished paintings known
to exist), nor very efficient at finishing
a painting, make a traveling exhibit ex-
tremely rare.
The exhibit, "Leonardo's Return to
Vinci," is drawn primarily from the
collection of the late Marquis de Ganay,
an avid art collector who possessed the
majority of the privately owned
Leonardo drawings. .
Originally formed for the celebration
of an anniversary of Leonardo in the
town of Vinci, the collection traveled to
the University of California-Berkeley,
and after stopping at a few other
locations in the West, arrived in Ann
Arbor, the final stop for the exhibit.
The controversial Salvator Mundi is
the exhibit's highlight, and it also may
be the last painting ever completed by
Leonardo's
designs
brought
to life
By Scott Stuckal
WHILE TIE PARENTS seriously
study the artworks at the
Leonardo exhibit, the kids can be found
just around the corner marveling at the
scale models of Leonardo's most
visionary inventions.
In the ceiling of the Museum of Art
Leonardo's design for a 15th century
flying machine comes to life. Leonardo,
studying birds, decided to make his
flying machines wings wiggle back and
forth like a bird.
Elsewhere sits a corkscrew helicop-
ter which Leonardo hoped could lift it-
self into the air through the help of four
able-bodied men churning away at a
corkscrew. "The design was correct,"
said John Brace, a spokesman for IBM
See MODELS, Page 8

Leonardo. The painting is one of the few
to survive the devastation of aging,
most likely because it was layered with
numerous coats of varnish - used
primarily to give a painting depth -
and hung in a scantily lit convent. The
varnish has been removed and the pain-
ting hung in an airtight box to deter fur-
ther damage.
For centuries the piece has been at-
tributed to one of Leonardo's pupils, but
recent scientific examinations conclude
that this version-one of 13-is quite
possibly Leonardo's. X-ray analyses of
the wood grain link the Salvator Mundi
to Leonardo's St. John the Baptist; the
colors and style of the two paintings are
also remarkably similar. Additionally,
the red colors have been associated
with The Last Supper.
For the sake of comparison, Museum
of Art director Evan Mauer said they
attempted to borrow the Detroit In-
stitute of Arts' copy, but the piece
required at least two months work
before it could be displayed.
The exhibit revolves around four of
Leonardo's eleven famed drapery
studies. Although Leonardo's art con-
stitutes only a small portion of his con-
tributions, his genius is reflected in
these pieces. While none of them ap-
pear to be directly related to any par-
ticular painting, they are symbolic of
See PAINTINGS, Page8
ANN ARBOR
2 INDIVIDUALTHEATRES
5th Are at Liberty 741-9700
t Brilliant
CHRISTOPHEREREEV
DEATHH
ANM
TUES-5:10, 7:15, 9:20
WED.-12:50, 2:55, 5:10, 7:15 9:20
H URRY! ENDS T HURS!
WICKEDL Y FUNNY!l
CHRISTOPHER REEVE
DYAN CANNON
TUES-5:20, 7:30, 9:40
WED-1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40 (PG)

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