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Leonardo da Vinci, the universal genius

Few of Leonardo da Vinci's original paintings have come down to us today. I fact fewer than 20  are known to exist in the world. These are centred in the large cities of Europe. Leonardo's drawings - though far more numerous - are only in a limited number of collections (Windsor Castle in England has the widest selection).

To help commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Leonardo on 15 April 1452, Unesco has prepared a series of 45 travelling exhibitions each containing 150 facsimile reproductions of the great master's drawings. The exhibitions are being sent to the member countries of Unesco for circulation in art galleries, museums, workers'and youth centres, universities and other educational institutions in city and country areas.

In this issue, the Unesco Courier marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's birth, with the the article "Leonardo da Vinci, the universal genius", by José de Benito, and some of Leonardo's aphorisms and fables.

Read this issue. Download the pdf

Read also our issue Two rediscovered manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, October 1974

April 1952

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