Curtain comes down on record-breaking exhibit
THE curtain has come down on one of Hull's most popular art exhibitions.
The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery has attracted 54,960 art enthusiasts.
The much-anticipated arrival of the Royal Collection entitled Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci – A Diamond Jubilee Celebration, was on show from November 10 to January 20.
The drawings, which reflect a broad range of da Vinci's interests, were selected from the holdings within the Royal Library at Windsor Castle and included the magnificent Head of Leda – the mythological mother of Helen of Troy.
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They came to Hull as part of celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: "We are really pleased with the visitor response to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery.
"The feedback we have received is excellent and we have seen visitors come from far and wide to view the inspiring works.
"This latest exhibition further builds on the gallery's reputation following the successful Hockney and Warhol exhibitions and we hope to continue to raise the profile of Hull as a place to visit for art."
The exhibition provided a unique opportunity to see a range of da Vinci's drawings and, in doing so, to explore the mind of one of the greatest artists of all time.
Local artist Peter Bell was inspired to create artwork on the back of visiting the exhibition.
He said: "It was a great opportunity to see some of da Vinci's work and the simplicity of the drawings inspired me to pick up a pencil and sketch once again.
"Artists are often confined to what a gallery or a customer wants, so it was quite refreshing to see such basic but wonderful artwork.
"It is also fantastic for the city to host an exhibition from such a famous artist. It was good to see how busy it was – it's just a shame it has to leave."
The exhibition was expected to attract more visitors than David Hockney's record-breaking display at the gallery last year.
The Bridlington artist's Bigger Trees Near Warter painting pulled in 63,000 people to the gallery.
Although da Vinci's collection fell more than 8,000 visitors short of the target, it did break another attendance record.
About 11,000 people visited the gallery in the first ten days, eclipsing the opening days of David Hockney's display by some 2,000 people.
Two adult workshops in recreating old master drawing techniques led by paper conservator, Richard Hawkes, also sold out and the lecture programme tickets were in high demand.