Leonardo da Vinci

Teylers Museum is sparing no expense with a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition featuring 33 original drawings by the greatest artist of the Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

It is the first ever retrospective of original artworks by Da Vinci in the Netherlands. His drawn portraits along with as many works by his contemporaries are coming to Haarlem from world-famous collections.

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Leonardo’s immense versatility and unique talent are manifest in diverse works: from a magnificent lady with something of the Mona Lisa about her to powerful warriors in the heat of battle. In the caricature sketches from the British Royal collection you can see how the great master researched the most bizarre types. 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. Teylers is starting the anniversary celebrations with a must-see exhibition.

Walter Isaacson about Leonardo da Vinci

Seeking Emotion and Expression

The exhibition in Teylers Museum concentrates on portraiture. In the fifteenth century, Leonardo was one of the first artists to engage with characters’ expressions and emotions. Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile is the most powerful example. His almost scientific quest for the means of conveying emotions is the common theme in the sketches and drawings on display in Teylers Museum. With his keen eye he observed countless striking heads and characters in street scenes. He captured them in swift silverpoint or chalk lines in sketchbooks. He sought contrast: the ugly old man and the beautiful youth with wild curls. The museum is showing work by his many followers in a separate room, making it easy to see just how far ahead of his time Leonardo was.

Leonardo and contemporaries in Teylers Museum*

a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.


The exhibition also includes preliminary studies for paintings, like Head and Shoulders of a Young Woman (c. 1490). There has been some speculation that this loan from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin was the basis for the painting of The Virgin of the Rocks (1483-85). It is often described as the ‘Mona Lisa of drawings’. The three preliminary studies for The Last Supper, the portrait of Judas among them, are quite extraordinary. In total five studies of heads of disciples survive in the world-famous mural in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Teylers Museum is dedicating a special room to this outstanding work of art, which obviously cannot travel, but can be seen as an original size replica. It is opposite a full-size replica of the unusual version of The Last Supper in the Abbey of Tongerlo. Discover what Leonardo originally envisioned with this trail-blazing work of art.

“If Leonardo would have been in Teylers Museum, he would have been in heaven. It’s just the perfect temple for art and science.”

Biographer Walter Isaacson

Teylers through Leonardo’s Eyes

Leonardo is also world famous for his inventions of flying machines and artillery. He did not see art and science as separate worlds; in his view they were inextricable. How would the homo universalis Leonardo da Vinci have regarded Teylers’ collection? A museum packed with collections of art and science? A special route takes in fossils, stones and inventions which the talented Italian had also already thought about. He recorded his ideas in countless sketchbooks. Linking those notes to items in the collection illustrates how modern his thinking was. The Museum of Wonder through Leonardo’s eyes.

Three in a Row

Leonardo da Vinci is the third in a series of high-profile exhibitions on masters of the Italian Renaissance staged by Teylers Museum. It follows on from earlier successful exhibitions of work by Michelangelo (2006) and Raphael (2012). The museum is very proud to play host to such remarkable loans. Because these are delicate works on paper, when the exhibition ends they will return to storage in the collections of Windsor Castle, the Louvre, the Uffizi, the Albertina and the British Museum. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an extraordinary encounter with Leonardo da Vinci!


Single ticket

Only for a visit to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.


Combi ticket

One ticket for both exhibitions at a discount of € 7.50.


Group discount

Visit Leonardo da Vinci with a group discount.

more information

Teylers Museum

Teylers Museum
Spaarne 16
2011 CH

Email: info@teylersmuseum.nl

Tuesdays10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday10:00 - 18:00
Thursday10:00 - 18:00
Friday10:00 - 18:00
Saturday10:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 18:00
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