Hidden Lives Of Works Of Art

Hidden Lives of Works of Art: Da Vinci

Series 1 - Episode 1 Hidden Lives of Works of Art: Da Vinci



This French-made programme is a little stiff around the edges, with occasionally comical dubbing, but it offers a view of some of the world’s masterpieces in rare close-up detail.

Leonardo produced perhaps only 15 paintings in his lifetime, seven of which reside in the Louvre. For 24 hours, all are gathered, unmounted and placed on easels as if in an artist’s studio, to be pored over by scholars from the UK, US and Italy. Questions of attribution, restoration, hidden layers and Leonardo’s fingerprints are pontificated over, but the experts are “happy to marvel” in silence at the Mona Lisa.


Experts explore various works of art, revealing the story of their discovery, and how, despite the threats of war, fire, woodworm, theft, vandalism, and changing tastes, they have survived throughout the centuries. In the first episode, curators Vincent Delieuvin and Luke Syson examine some of the most notable works by Leonardo da Vinci, including the Mona Lisa, and St John the Baptist.