Hit da Vinci exhibit coming to world movie screens

NEW YORK Thu Dec 8, 2011 6:06am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leonardo's latest is coming to a multiplex near you -- but that's da Vinci, not DiCaprio.

In the latest example of high-brow culture being beamed into movie theatres, "Leonardo Live," an HD presentation of the sold out "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan" exhibition at London's National Gallery will play limited engagements at U.S. movie theatres and throughout the world.

Billed as the first-ever tour of a fine art exhibition created for movie theatre audiences, "Leonardo Live" will afford art lovers a two-dimensional look via satellite at the sold-out exhibition, which cannot tour due to the works' fragility.

Beginning February 16 2012, the da Vinci film will be screened in U.S. venues as well as in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and Sweden, roughly through the end of the month.

The exhibition, which has drawn crowds and seen tickets scalped for hundreds of dollars each, was filmed on the eve of its opening in London this fall. The 100-minute production provides a high-definition walk-through of the landmark show, in-depth commentary about featured pieces and extra content.

The National Gallery show has been billed as the largest-ever exhibit of da Vinci's surviving works, and includes a newly discovered, never-exhibited painting, the "Salvator Mundisome."

"Leonardo Live," which is hosted by art historian and broadcaster Tim Marlow and presenter Mariella Frostrup and produced by PhilGrabskyFilms.com, is the latest in a series of high-culture offerings to make the move to the silver screen.

The Metropolitan Opera, Britain's National Theatre and the Royal Opera House have screened many live broadcasts of their renowned productions in movie theatres, and musicals such as "Phantom of the Opera" and "Company" were recently seen in limited, specially priced engagements.

A trailer for "Leonardo Live" can be seen here

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Jill Serjeant)

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