Phil Grabsky reads an extract from 'Living with Leonardo' written by Martin Kemp

Audio by Phil Grabsky

“I’m the executive producer of Exhibition On Screen and the director of Leonardo: The Works. One of the contributors to the film is Martin Kemp, emeritus research professor in the History of Art at Oxford University and much else besides. One of the books that I read and found very valuable in the production of this film was 'Living with Leonardo: Fifty Years of Sanity and Insanity in the Art World and Beyond’. We’ve been making films for Exhibition On Screen since 2011 and have covered plenty of exhibitions in plenty of galleries and I know that you - the audience - are often fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. There’s a chapter in Martin’s book, chapter 10 to be precise, entitled ‘exhibitions’ and I’m going to read you just a few pages of it because this gives a real insight, I think, into what it’s like to put an exhibition on.”

Phil Grabsky

↓ Listen to the audio below ↓
*For more information on the book ‘Living with Leonardo’ and EOS’ film ‘Leonardo: The Works’, keep scrolling…


📖 Living with Leonardo

In Living with Leonardo, world-renowned Leonardo da Vinci expert Martin Kemp relates his fifty-year relationship with the work of the most famous artist of all time.

Through an engaging personal narrative inter-woven with historical research, we learn of Kemp’s encounters with the vast population that surrounds Leonardo: great and lesser academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, major scholars and authors, pseudo-historians and fantasists. He shares how he has grappled with swelling legions of ‘Leonardo loonies’, walked on the eggshells of vested interests in academia and museums, and fended off fusillades of non-Leonardos, sometimes more than one a week. Examining the greatest masterpieces, from the Last Supper to Salvator Mundi, through the expert’s eye, we learn first-hand of the thorny questions that surround attribution, the scientific analyses that support the experts’ interpretations, and the continuing importance of connoisseurship.

Throughout, from the most scholarly interpretations to the popularity of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, we are reminded of Leonardo’s unique genius and wonder at how an artist from 500 years ago continues to make such compelling posthumous demands on all those who engage with him.

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🎥 Leonardo: The Works

Leonardo da Vinci is acclaimed as the world’s favourite artist. Many TV shows and feature films have showcased this extraordinary genius but often not examined closely enough is the most crucial element of all: his art. Leonardo’s peerless paintings and drawings will be the focus of Leonardo: The Works, as EXHIBITION ON SCREEN presents every single attributed painting, in Ultra HD quality, never seen before on the big screen. Key works include The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Lady with an Ermine, Ginevra de’ Benci, Madonna Litta, Virgin of the Rocks, and more than a dozen others.

This film also looks afresh at Leonardo’s life – his inventiveness, his sculptural skills, his military foresight and his ability to navigate the treacherous politics of the day – through the prism of his art. To be released on the 500th anniversary of his death, Leonardo: The Works offers a revealing insight into one of history’s most extraordinary individuals. It will leave you amazed.

Coming to a cinema near you from 29th October!
Book tickets via the EXHIBITION ON SCREEN website