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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain's National Gallery is to stage a spectacular exhibition of the works of Leonardo Da Vinci next year, bringing together at least one third of the artist's known works.
"Leonardo da Vinci: Painter At The Court Of Milan" will open in November 2011. Never before will so many of da Vinci's 15 paintings have been under one roof, the gallery said.
After more than four years of negotiations, agreement has been reached to show five works and three more may be added.
Unlike previous da Vinci exhibitions, which have looked at the artist's skill as an inventor, scientist and draughtsman, this one will explore his techniques as a painter.
Works produced by Da Vinci during his stay at the Milan court of Duke Lodovico Sforza in the late 1480s and 1490s are the exhibition's focus.
Among the exhibits will be "La Belle Ferroniere" portrait from the Louvre museum in Paris -- although not the "Mona Lisa" -- the "Madonna Litta" from the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and "Saint Jerome" from the Pinacoteca Vaticana in Rome.
A full-scale copy of Leonardo's "Last Supper" made shortly after the original, will also be lent by the Royal Academy for the exhibition.
Preparatory drawings made by da Vinci will be displayed alongside the paintings.
The National Gallery's recent restoration of da Vinci's "The Virgin of the Rocks" inspired the exhibition.
Organizers hope that record attendances will make up for the cost of insuring the paintings.
The exhibition will run from November 9, 2011 to February 5, 2012.
Reporting Isabel Coles; Editing by Steve Addison