About the project

On 30 July 2016, an exhibition of 10 original drawings by the great Renaissance Master Leonardo da Vinci opens at Nottingam Castle. The drawings, all from the Royal Collections and usually at home at Windsor, are on show in Nottingham until 6 October- which is a first for Nottingham. That covers the 10 drawings bit.

We need to come clean about the ten students because there are actually only nine of them but they are working with one of their lecturers, Associate Professor Dr Gabriele Neher, which makes ten. This team of ten, from the University of Nottingham’s History of Art Department, are working alongside a team from Nottingham Castle on all aspects of the Leonardo da Vinci drawings exhibition, and this blog is all about their work.

Disclaimer: this blog reflects the work of the student project team and all opinions and content are the team’s own.

Team members:


Dr Gabriele Neher, University of Nottingham. Renaissance Art Historian, Early modern enthusiast and team leader.

Twitter @gabrieleneher


ELLEN SMITHIESEllen Smithies, Art History and Classical Civilisation, University of Nottingham. I am really excited to be a part of Team Leonardo, and working with the team at Nottingham Castle is going to be amazing fun! I can’ t wait to work on the design and
graphics of the exhibition, and seeing it completed is going to
be unbelievable. In the future I want to work in gallery or museum education.

  Emily Campinthumb_13071968_10209331701080305_5107502409786062975_o_1024

I am a final year History of Art student at the University of Nottingham. I have always had a passion for the Italian Renaissance but my interest in Leonardo in particular has developed through my recently completely dissertation project. My Dissertation focused on Leonardo da Vinci and his internationally celebrated masterpiece – The Last Supper. I debated the current state of the painting and whether it can really be regarded as a true Leonardo. Due to its destruction as a result of the work of many restoration projects, as well as Leonardo’s unsustainable choice of medium combined with various environmental factors over the past 500 years, I argued that the painting we have before us today is a product of restorers work rather than by the hand of Leonardo.

Working with the team on the content for this exhibition has allowed me to continue to develop my knowledge of Renaissance Italy and learn specifically about Leonardo’s drawings and the Royal Academy’s collection of his work.