Leonardo da Vinci at The Royal Collection
2019 promises to be a big and exciting year for The Royal Collection, in no small part due to Leonardo da Vinci.
The 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death in May 1519 is being marked around the world and the Royal Collection Trust will host a travelling exhibition of artwork in recognition of one of the greatest artists and scientists the world has known.
More than 200 of the Renaissance master's greatest drawings in the Royal Collection will form the basis of a touring show at the Queen's Gallery in London and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh which in itself will be the largest exhibition of Leonardo's work in over 65 years.
The Royal Collection holds the finest surviving group of Leonardo's drawings, with more than 550 sheets that have been together since Leonardo's death. Acquired during the reign of Charles II, they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of the artist's mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.
As paper is damaged by light, these drawings cannot be on permanent display, so to mark this anniversary Royal Collection Trust is collaborating with twelve museums and galleries to present nearly 150 of da Vinci's drawings on display in simultaneous exhibitions across the UK from February.
In the summer of 2019 all these drawings will be brought together in a single exhibition at The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace in London, running from 24th May to 13th October. That will then be followed by a selection of these works at The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from 22nd November 2019 to 15th March 2020.
Before then, The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace will be hosting an exhibition titled Russia, Royalty and The Romanovs.
Running until 28th April 2019, a rich and varied collection of works of art will be on display bringing to life the shared patronage of artists and craftsmen from both countries. Many of the items are unique with some commissioned as grand diplomatic gifts, others as intimate personal mementos between the royal family and the Romanovs. Portraits, sculpture, photographs, archival documents and miniature masterpieces by Fabergé will illustrate historic events and family meetings between the rulers of the two nations.
The exhibition will then move onto The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse from 21st June to 3rd November 2019.
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace, titled Queen Victoria's Palace, will tell the story of how the young queen transformed the world's most famous Palace from a private house into a working royal residence.
Running from 20th July to 29th September, the exhibition will illustrate how together with Prince Albert she made Buckingham Palace a rallying point for the nation, a powerful symbol of the British Monarchy, and a family home for their nine children.
Later in 2019, visitors to The Queen's Gallery can enjoy what promises to be an equally fascinating exhibition called George IV: Art & Spectacle.
George IV is seen by many as arguably the most magnificent of British monarchs and he formed an unrivalled collection of art, much of which remains in the Royal Collection. As Prince of Wales and, from 1820, magnificent king, he purchased paintings, metalwork, textiles, furniture, watercolours, books and ceramics in vast numbers, many of these works by the finest artists of the day.
From 15th November, the exhibition will present George IV's life through the art that enriched his world, bringing together Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, magnificent portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, delicate French porcelain, intricate goldsmiths' work and elegant books and drawings.
Windsor Castle enjoyed its fair share of worldwide spotlight in 2018 and until 17 February 2019 an exhibition called A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will feature the wedding outfits worn by the couple at their wedding last May.
In the setting of the Grand Reception Room, The Duchess of Sussex's wedding dress will be displayed alongside The Duke's frockcoat uniform. Also displayed will be the outfits worn by Their Royal Highness's Prince George and Princess Charlotte in their roles as pageboy and bridesmaid.
The exhibition will also head to the Palace of Holyrood House from 14th June to 6th October.