Art: He Drew Like An Angel

A superb show surveys the conflicted, elusive but masterly graphics of Leonardo da Vinci

Throughout his life Leonardo da Vinci was plagued by a sense of failure, incompletion and time wasted. His favorite phrase, unconsciously repeated in whole or in part whenever he scribbled something to see if a newly cut pen was working, was "Tell me, tell me if anything got finished." And indeed very little did. His big projects for sculpture were never completed--the huge clay model for one of them, meant to commemorate his patron Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan, ended up a shapeless mound, shot to pieces by occupying French archers. His big mural commemorating a Florentine victory, the Battle of...

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