Exhibition of the week
Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing
The Queen’s unrivalled collection of Leonardo’s drawings of everything from human anatomy to the end of the world goes on tour to 12 museums across Britain.
• Museums across the UK from 1 February until 6 May.
Meditational video artist Viola takes on the might of Michelangelo. I guess he likes a challenge.
• Royal Academy, London, from 26 January until 31 March.
Katie Paterson and JMW Turner
Two artists fascinated by science – Paterson has worked with Nasa and Turner was friends with Michael Faraday – show side by side.
• Turner Contemporary, Margate, from 26 January until 6 May.
Walter De Maria
Ideas, drawings and installations by the visionary American artist who was also the Velvet Underground’s first drummer.
• Gagosian Gallery Grosvenor Hill, London, until 9 March.
John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing
The idealism and passion of this great Victorian thinker blazes through in a sensitive survey of his collections and drawings.
• Two Temple Place, London, from 26 January until 22 April.
Masterpiece of the week
Narcissus, c1500, Follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
Leonardo da Vinci loved young men with long hair in ringlets, wrote his biographer Giorgio Vasari in 1550. He was twice accused of sodomy before a Florentine tribunal. In modern times the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud wrote a biography of Da Vinci that saw him as a gay artist. This painting by one of his imitators shows that a consciously androgynous, subversive subculture surrounded the great artist and inventor. In Greek myth, Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection. This painting makes that an image of aestheticism among the young Leonardesque dudes.
• National Gallery, London.
Image of the week
Plans were unveiled this week for the new £288m Centre for Music in London, which aims to do for orchestras what Tate Modern did for art. Read the full story here.
What we learned
Mirosław Bałka is making walls a hot topic
Switzerland’s newest museum is like a Bond villain’s lair
Avant garde film-maker Jonas Mekas died, but we had one last interview to savour
Australia’s Mona Foma festival strips away solemnity for a glittery party
… while the Australian dollar is revalued for postcolonial times
Pierre Bonnard was colourful but scrappy
An old letter may finally authenticate a portrait of Jane Austen
Endpapers are back … and front
Beatrice Gibson stages an intimate apocalypse
David Cameron was not a regretful portrait sitter
London’s National Portrait Gallery will face a different direction
The Bauhaus is 100 … and Norman Foster and top designers say what that means to them
Gallery-going rivals yoga as a means for under-30s to de-stress
Danielle Eubank is painting oceans to track climate change
Julie Mehretu goes to darker places than Bourgeois spiders
Niagara Falls might have been a Metropolis
Vasantha Yogananthan has rewritten the Ramayana
The British Life photography awards paint a picture of a nation
The communist eastern bloc valued design, even in small things
Pentti Sammallahti sees birds everywhere
It’s worth taking a close look at James Baldwin’s face
To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign
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