Bingeing on culture? (1)

After several weeks away from anything vaguely resembling artistic practice, I managed to visit London for an "art fix" last week.  Four exhibitions in 24 hours.  On the hottest days of the summer so far (probably), London was looking very spruce: full of cheerful faces and summer clothes, lots of pre-Olympic good will and not too much traffic.  The price of a cup of coffee was a bit of a shock - I'd only just got used to paying nearly £2 a cup in Wales, and it was almost £3 in London.
Images copyright, and from
First call:  "Leonardo da Vinci, Anatomist" at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace (until October 7th.).  An opportunity to see all the anatomical drawings, which have been in the Royal Collection since the late 1600s. Whatever one might think about Royal patronage & collecting, at least we occasionally get to see the drawings in the UK and they are apparently allowed out on tour abroad from time to time.  Beautifully executed, and on a small scale, the drawings document Leonardo's anatomical studies over many years, and were intended to for publication.  Much has been made of their accuracy, or inaccuracy (see ), and it is interesting to note that Leonardo often drew what he thought ought to be there rather than what he could actually see.  Presumably, like many illustrators, he was striving to depict the archetype rather than the individual, and had no problems with extrapolating from the imagined to the real.
Drawing what "ought" to be there - non-existent structures in the brain
   Although, to be fair, until Leonardo invented a method of delineating blood vessels by injecting liquid wax into them, he would have found it very difficult to dissect an untreated brain....