Here, Britain’s engagement with the outside world comes to the fore, and the galleries highlight both the oppression and the wealth brought on by precocious imperialist activity, industrialization, and commercial enterprise.
About midway through the National Gallerys exhibition Andrea del Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence, you find yourself standing in front of a beautiful young woman carved from marble that has mellowed to a honey-brown hue.
Is anyones art worth the effort of a sleepless six-hour redeye flight? Leonardo would not have hesitated to say yes. When praising the art of painting, he pointed out the great lengths people go to simply to enjoy pictures, and noted how people fell in love with paintings or worshipped them. Accordingly, when Leonardo installed a full-scale drawing made in preparation for a painting of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne in Florence in 1501, hordes rushed to see it. Apparently, some things havent changed.