Leonardo: the Language of Faces

After four years of preparation, the exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci drawings I curated for Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, will open on Friday, October 5th. For three months visitors can admire a special group of Leonardo’s drawings of the human face that attest to his extraordinary powers of observation and imagination.



The selection of thirty drawings includes some of the world’s most famous drawings, such as a preparatory study for the head of Judas in the Last Supper, studies of the heads of warriors in the Battle of Anghiari, and a study of the face of the angel in the Virgin of the Rocks. Furthermore, the exhibition includes his popular drawings of heads of old men and women with deformed faces, once erroneously termed ‘caricatures’. An additional group of some 30 drawings, engravings and paintings illustrates the immediate and wide-ranging impact these ‘bizarre heads’, as Vasari called them, exerted on painters in Italy and the north. A special room, dedicated to the Last Supper, contains a full-scale photographic replica of this famous mural and one of the earliest known copies, now in Tongerlo, Belgium (4,6 x 8,8 m).

Tickets can be booked only online:

“Leonardo da Vinci. The Language of Faces”Catalogue edited by Michael W. Kwakkelstein in collaboration with Michiel Plomp, Thoth Publishers Bussum & Teylers Museum 2018.

Michael W. Kwakkelstein, ISI Florence & Utrecht University Faculty