Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing “Vitruvian Man” is on display in Paris. The drawing is a study of human body proportions, and it will be displayed at the Musée du Louvre until December 14, 2019. Those on a Louvre guided tour can see it, thanks to an Italian court’s adjudication that it should be sent from Italy to France. The ruling benefits the Louvre Museum, which is hosting an exhibition that marks the 500th death anniversary of Leonardo.
Please note that the Leonardo da Vinci show at the Parisian museum will run through February 24, 2020.
The court ruling was a twist in a drama concerning the loan of many Leonardo artworks from Italian institutions to Paris. At one point, a deputy minister from Italy accused France of attempting to culturally appropriate Leonardo; other people raised concerns regarding the fragile nature of the pieces and concerning the cultural diplomacy in finalizing the loans.
The drawing has been an asset of the permanent collection of Vince’s Gallerie dell’Accademia since 1822. In a 2018 interview, the then director of Gallerie dell’Accademia, Paola Marini, told that its curators had been against the loan.
The drawing is not permanently shown and is rarely lent. Earlier in 2019, however, it was on display as part of a Venice exhibition devoted to Leonardo. Before that, the drawing was last shown to the public in 2013.
A court in Veneto noted that “Vitruvian Man” was part of Gallerie dell’Accademia’s principal collection, but other artworks on this list had previously been lent. The court also noted that reports drafted by two restoration institutes in Italy said that this work could travel, provided that it would be displayed for a limited period in specific lighting conditions.
“Vitruvian Man” was among the many Leonardo artworks lent to the Musée du Louvre as part of a deal signed by the Italian and French ministers of culture.
In its ruling, this court noted that in exchange for the loans, the Louvre Museum would send many works including Raphael paintings to Rome. Those artworks will be used as part of a show, which will commemorate the quincentenary of Raphael’s demise.
Italy’s Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, tweeted that the verdict was vindication that it had acted properly.
He took to Twitter and posted this: “Now the great Italo-French cultural operation of the two exhibits on Leonardo in Paris and Raphael in Rome can begin.”