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Leonardo da Vinci’s work had an immeasurable impact on the world of Western art. While the majority of his masterpieces are found in cities in Italy, such as Florence and Milan, there are other pieces in surprising locations across the globe. Here are 10 places you can find da Vinci’s work on your travels.
One of the largest museums in the world, The Louvre is well known for being the home of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the earliest Italian painting to focus intently on the sitter in a half-length portrait. But how did such an important work by the Italian Renaissance artist end up in France? Rather than giving the portrait to the person who commissioned it, da Vinci brought the painting with him to France in 1517, where he continued to work on it – it was his favourite painting and he would continuously add details to it for the rest of his life. After the artist’s death in Amboise, the Mona Lisa was inherited by the artist’s assistant, who sold it to Francis I for 4,000 gold coins after which it was added to the royal collection. Today, 6 million people come to visit the portrait every year.
The National Gallery in London is home to two important works by da Vinci: The Virgin of the Rocks and The Burlington House Cartoon, purchased by the museum in 1880 and 1962 respectively. The latter is drawn in charcoal and chalk on eight pieces of paper stuck together and is presumed to be a cartoon for a painting, although no painting has been discovered based directly on this work. The National Gallery houses more than 2,300 paintings in total – a world-class collection that belongs to the British public and is available to see for free.
Additional reporting by Charlotte Luxford.