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PHOTOS: High’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibit to open Oct. 6


Guest Curator Gary Radke explained why this intricate angel is likely to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci, while another -- perfectly lovely, but less detailed -- probably isn't. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

“Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius,” won’t open till Oct. 6, but the High Museum of Art surprised everyone this week by saying it would open up the exhibition on Monday, when the museum is usually closed, and allow people in for free.


Leonardo's studies are a fascinating and important part of the exhibition.

Whenever you see it, here’s what you can expect to see.

  • A 24-foot horse. It’s on the piazza, so you can see it for free any time, but even if you could miss it, you wouldn’t want to. Leonardo never had a chance to see it this way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.
  • Small, detailed sketches, notes and studies. These are Leonardo’s, and they reveal his skill and process. They’re small, which can make the exhibit space appear sparse, but they’re so detailed, there’s no shortage of things to see. Be sure to pick up a magnifying glass on your way in. It makes a huge difference.
  • Incredible sculpture. Some are believed to be by Leonardo, but more are pieces that influenced him, or that he helped to influence, directly or indirectly.
  • A small gallery that reveals prominent Atlantans’ feelings about genius. Ted Turner, Shirley Franklin, Alton Brown and plenty others chime in on the subject. It’s a gentle nod to interactivity in an exhibit clearly not meant for touching, but it’s interesting to hear the variety of perspectives.

Catherine Fox will review the exhibition for the AJC on Oct. 9, but over at the blog, she mentioned, “you won’t want to miss it.”

Want to go? “Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius” opens Oct. 6, continues through Feb. 21. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4444,


"John the Baptist Preaching to a Levite and a Pharisee," in bronze by Giovan Francesco Rustici, a student of Leonardo's. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht


"Bearded Prophet" by Donatello, whose work Leonardo studied. This marble statue was cleaned for this exhibition, and hasn't been see in Italy as it will be at the High. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht


Quotes like this are spread all over the exhibition, but this one seems particularly pertinent. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

13 comments Add your comment

[...] explained in this preview post that “Hand of the Genius” isn’t an expansive show of the greatest hits. It [...]

Audrey Galloway

January 4th, 2010
7:59 pm

Can you participate in the “Name the Horse” contest on line?

Audrey Galloway

January 4th, 2010
7:58 pm

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