Italy to display Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man in Rome

Masterpiece to go on display from 5 May to 11 June.

Italy is to display Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic drawing The Vitruvian Man at the senate in Rome to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country’s constitution.

The precious work, which dates to around 1490, will be on public display from 5 May until 11 June at Palazzo Giustiniani, reports La Repubblica newspaper.

The pen and ink drawing, normally kept in a climate-controlled vault at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, will reportedly be insured for €800 million.

Da Vinci’s masterpiece, considered an archetypal representative of the High Renaissance, will be exhibited in Rome alongside the original copy of Italy’s constitution.

Inspired by the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, the drawing depicts a nude man in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and inscribed in both a circle and square.

In 2019 The Vitruvian Man was at the centre of a legal battle involving Italy and France after the Louvre had requested to borrow the 15th-century work for an exhibition to commemorate the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death.

An Italian court blocked the loan, which had been challenged by heritage group Italia Nostra on the grounds that the work was too fragile to be moved abroad, however this ruling was subsequently overturned and the drawing went on display in Paris.