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National Gallery launching immersive Leonardo da Vinci experience

national gallery leonardo da vinci

The National Gallery is launching an immersive Leonardo da Vinci experience. Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece is created by 59 Productions.

The immersive exploration of the artist will also focus on his artwork ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’, which has undergone cutting-edge scientific research.

Leonardo’s original sketches have been uncovered, and visitors will get a look at them underneath the finished paint work – via macro X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) maps and infrared and hyperspectral imaging.

Cutting-edge research on ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’

national gallery leonardo da vinci

The experience kicks off on November 9, with the ground floor galleries transformed into a space investigating the painting and the artist.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said the exhibition combines technical research on the painting “with an immersive, enveloping experience, giving visitors the opportunity to explore Leonardo da Vinci’s creative process in making this masterpiece”.

“This is an exciting opportunity to not only share our innovative findings, but also to invite the public to explore and engage with what we have found,” added Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research.

Multi-sensory experiences and projections

national gallery leonardo da vinciThere will be various multi-sensory experiences across four rooms, with guests able to visit a similar chapel setting.

Projections showing Leonardo’s use of light and shadow will be available, as will a conservator’s studio revealing how experts can now look beneath the painting’s surface.

Visitors will also be able to explore Leonardo’s research, and will see how he used science to create light and shadow in paintings.

The experience was created by 59 Productions, who recently projected a Saturn V rocket onto the Washington Monument for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s celebration of Apollo 11.

The company has also worked on the London 2021 Olympic Games opening ceremony, and collaborated with the V&A and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Richard Slaney, Managing Director of 59 Productions, said: “59 Productions are thrilled to create the first digital-led experience for the National Gallery, that will allow visitors to explore the fascinating layers of this iconic masterwork in an immersive way.”

Meanwhile, the Royal Collection Trust has launched Escape Room: Leonardo Artmergency! in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, challenging players to “think like a Renaissance genius”.

Images: The National Gallery

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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