Film Review: Leonardo Live (2012)

21 Feb

By Mia Robinson

Documentary, 90 minutes.

 Leonardo Live is a documentary on the Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition currently delighting gallery-goers at the National Gallery in London. This Blockbuster art exhibition, intends to make us “imagine how da Vinci thought” – such an exercise proving to be enigmatic and worthwhile. For those of us who can’t make it to London, Leonardo Live captures the magic on screen. It presents as an enjoyable blend, that of viewing the works in the gallery with commentary from various experts, to interviews with the gallery managers on the progress of setting up the exhibition and what’s involved in transporting and displaying the da Vinci pieces.

Observing the reactions and theories from the different experts was a very satisfying element. This is the first time that such a large collection of daVinci’s works have been in the one gallery at the one time, including one never seen before painting and two versions of The Virgin of the Rocks. Being able to view his works side-by-side, reportedly has a different effect on the viewer than experiencing pieces individually.

The effect of experiencing da Vinci’s works through the medium of film was very moving, even for someone relatively uneducated in the realm of art history such as myself. Therefore, I can only imagine how inspiring the real-life experience would be. I left the cinema a believer, in what – I’m not entirely sure… perhaps it’s that da Vinci is eternal, he continues to communicate with the world through the eyes of his paintings and through the eyes of us, his audience – and his medium.

Leonardo Live opens nationally on 18 February.


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