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  • da Vinci: Still Wowing Them

    This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    People who write about art exhibitions often see them before they open to the public. So we are accustomed to friends and strangers asking, “Is it good?”  But since “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” opened at London’s National Gallery in early November, a new question keeps coming up: “Is it worth it?”

    At first this question struck me as odd, even shocking. After all, this really is a once in a lifetime chance to see so many paintings by one of the greatest painters in the history of Western art. Some 18 paintings by Leonardo survive; half of them are on view. They have come from Prague, Rome, Krakow and St Petersburg. For the first time ever—not even Leonardo had this experience—both versions of his monumental “Virgin of the Rocks” can be seen together and in the very same room. This makes it possible to compare his different approaches to a single subject; the moods he chose to convey. (The Louvre’s is warm and human; the National Gallery’s, which was recently restored, looks like a vision from beyond the grave.)

    For these reason alone—and there are others—for anybody who cares about art, the answer to the question “Is it worth it?” is a blindingly obvious “Yes”.

    But the question isn’t silly, and the people asking it aren’t philistines, necessarily. The same concern that provokes the question also makes it hard to answer. The show is extraordinarily popular. Everyone thought it would be a success, but few imagined that it would rival a Lady Gaga concert as a hot ticket. Within a week of its opening, those who waited for reviews or were too busy to book, found themselves out of luck. The show, which closes on February 3rd, was completely sold out. In spite of the National Gallery’s policy that tickets bought from scalpers (and eBay) would not be honoured, people were buying these £16 tickets for more than ten times that much. Gossip columnists have reported on the fashionable people who are desperate to prove they have not missed out.

    Read Full Article in The Economist.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Gamechangers

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    About the Author: The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science and technology. The Economist's website can be found at http://www.economist.com.

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