On Leonardo da Vinci’s Birthday MFA Boston Shows the Most Beautiful Drawing in the World

Opening today, on what would have been Leonardo da Vinci's 563rd birthday, the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The show will feature a recently rediscovered self-portrait of the artist and a suite of masterpieces by Leonardo including the long-admired Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the "Virgin of the Rocks"), a metalpoint drawing from the 1480s, widely renowned for its naturalism, and which art historian Kenneth Clark called the “most beautiful . . . in the world" (see Recently Rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci Painting Fetches $75 Million in Private Sale).

Organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia (see Newly Discovered Leonardo da Vinci Portrait on Display at the College of William and Mary), the show unites 30 works by Renaissance artists, including seven by Leonardo's rival, Michelangelo (see Michelangelo's Only Surviving Bronzes Discovered). Many of the works on view are loans from Italian institutions, including Florence's Uffizi Museum.