Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion

Fri 7 Jun – Sun 8 Sep 2019
Observations on the course of the River Arno. British Library, Arundel MS 263, f. 149r © British Library Board
Book now Members go free
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £7.00 Member: £7.00 Other concessions available

See inside the mind of one of the world’s greatest artists

For the first time in the UK we bring together highlights from three of Leonardo da Vinci’s extraordinary notebooks to explore his fascination with motion, which he considered to be ‘the cause of all life’.

Marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death, this unique exhibition showcases pages from one of the British Library’s finest treasures, the Codex Arundel. It is displayed alongside the Codex Forster from the V&A and a selection of sheets from the Codex Leicester, widely considered to be one of Leonardo’s most important scientific notebooks and on display in this country for the first time since it was purchased by Bill Gates.

The pages are written in Leonardo’s distinctive mirror writing and packed with intricate drawings and diagrams. They illustrate how his detailed studies of natural phenomena – in particular of water – influenced his work both as an artist and an inventor. Marvel at Leonardo’s insights into subjects as varied as the formation of waves and air bubbles, river flow, the velocity of wind, and the nature of light and shadow.. View some of Leonardo’s designs for devices including an underwater breathing apparatus and a perpetual motion wheel capable of producing and harnessing energy.

Admire studies for his famous painting, The Virgin of the Rocks, revealing how his observations of nature in motion directly informed his ability to portray human movement in the artistic masterpieces for which he is known today.


Name: Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion
Where: PACCAR 2
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Opening times and visitor information
Price: Full Price: £7.00
Member: £7.00
Senior 60+: £6.00
Student: £4.00
Registered Unemployed: £4.00
Disabled: £4.00
National Art Pass Senior: £3.00
Child 11 and Under : £0.00
Child 12-17: £4.00
National Art Pass: £3.50

A voluntary donation can be added over the regular ticket price. You will be helping the Library to conserve and share its collection. If you are a UK tax-payer and ‘Gift Aid’ your donation, the Library can reclaim the tax you have paid.

Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now