You are exclusively invited to attend Buckingham Palace for the Private View of the Royal Collection’s exhibition ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’, followed by Champagne Dinner

We are delighted to announce that as a Member of CountryClubuk you are exclusively invited to attend Buckingham Palace for the Private View of the Royal Collection’s new exhibition ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’, arranged by the Palace to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. The dates are Monday, September 9 and Monday, September 16. The time is 6.30pm.

This will be an iconic, unmissable exhibition. These works by Leonardo are among the greatest treasures in the Royal Collection, owned by HM The Queen. They will form the largest show of Leonardo’s work in more than 65 years and include the mysterious ‘invisible drawings’, never before seen.


We shall see this once-in-a-lifetime Royal Exhibition during an exclusive Private View. The centuries’-old works are fragile and are permitted to go on show in the light only at rare intervals, making the exhibition the ‘one and only chance’ in many people’s lifetimes to see them, according to the Royal curators. We shall have the added pleasure of viewing the exhibition in private, without the crowds that will throng the Queen’s Gallery by day, and we shall have the guidance of a specialist authority on Leonardo da Vinci, appointed by the Palace for the purpose.

We shall also enjoy a glass of Champagne, then move on for a fitting climax—a three-course Champagne Dinner at The Dorchester.


The exhibition reveals in the greatest detail Leonardo’s extraordinary, ground-breaking discoveries. Their dramatic beauty and accuracy take the breath. But Leonardo—regarded as a genius in so many areas of human civilisation—died without publishing works which would have transformed knowledge of many subjects, from anatomy to engineering. On his death in 1519 they remained among his private papers—their significance lost to the world for another 400 years.

The drawings by Leonardo in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since his death. Acquired during the reign of Charles II, they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.

All the drawings and manuscripts in Leonardo’s studio at his death were bequeathed to his pupil Francesco Melzi, on whose death sculptor Pompeo Leoni pasted the drawings into the pages of several albums. One was brought to England, and by 1630 it was owned by Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel. During the Civil War, Arundel left England and there is no further trace of the Leonardo volume until 1690, when it was recorded at Whitehall Palace in the collection of Charles II.


It was noticed that within the album were ‘blank’ pages, which puzzled scholars for some time, since they realised that the paper, though indeed blank, carried indentations. Not until the 20th century was the truth revealed: examination under ultraviolet light brought to life a vision—of Leonardo’s astonishingly detailed studies of the hands for his painting ‘Adoration of the Magi’, c1481. He had executed the work in metalpoint, which, due to its copper content, had over time become ‘invisible ink’.

This extraordinary provenance and mystery only add to the amazing spectacle of these works by Leonardo: and as such the Royal exhibition promises to be one of the most popular ever held. Its scale is unprecedented, and usually these works are kept in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, under carefully controlled conditions.


We are thrilled that our Members have been invited to the Private View of the exhibition, guaranteeing the best views of this ‘exhibition of the century’ (which the public will see, 400 people at a time). Our Private View is limited to 60 Members, and places will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis.


To extend the pleasure of the occasion we have reserved tables for a three-course Champagne Dinner in one of London’s finest five-star hotels, The Dorchester, to which you will be whisked from the Palace by taxi after the Private View.

At The Dorchester, you will be welcomed to the glittering Dorchester Grill with a chilled glass of Champagne, then dine on three courses. All will be seasonal and delicious, and a fitting finale to our Private View at the Palace.

For immediate acceptance of this invitation to attend the Private View of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’ Exhibition at Buckingham Palace, with Champagne Dinner at The Dorchester for £119, please click here to book on September 9 and click here to book for September 16. Rates include VAT, service charge, and your taxi from Buckingham Palace.

To make your reservations by phone, to stay the night in London at your exclusive Club rates, and to request all further details, please call the Member Services team on 020 7399 2960.

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