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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Apr 2019 > THIS MONTH In Print


Leonardo da Vinci: A Closer Look

Alan Donnithorne, Royal Collection Trust, £29.95 (hardback)

2019 is officially the ‘Year of Leonardo’ as it is 500 years since his death, so a new book examining the Renaissance master’s creative processes is a timely and fascinating insight into his world. Shedding fresh light on Leonardo’s drawing methods, tools and materials, modern methods including microscopy, ultraviolet imaging, infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence reveal hidden details for the first time ever.

Author Alan Donnithorne is former Head of Paper Conservation at the Royal Collection Trust, and this book is a culmination of over 20 years of forensic research into da Vinci’s drawings. The Royal Collection holds an extensive archive of his drawings and this book focuses on 80 of the finest. The remarkable imagery in the book reveals tangible evidence of Leonardo’s working methods, much of it invisible to the naked eye, and remarkable physical traces of the artist’s own hand. One of the most evocative of these is Leonardo’s thumbprint on the drawing The cardiovascular system and principal organs of a woman, c.1509-

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About Italia!

We have a splendid line-up of features to inspire your travels this month: our cover star Lake Maggiore has a wealth of stunning locations to explore, both around its shores and on the lake itself. If you like a good hike, our itinerary around the byways of a small corner of Maremma will defi nitely stretch your legs. For cricket fans we have the extraordinary tale of a most unlikely team – and they are really rather good! We have e-biking in the majestic Dolomites and we meet a 3-star chef there who’s really making a difference. And for culture vultures, we have the story of the rise, fall and rise again of Venice’s aptly-named La Fenice opera house.