Christ Church, Oxford, reopens with Leonardo

All seven in its collection will be on display together for the first time

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Christ Church Picture Gallery, purpose-built in 1968, reopened last month, following building work. Unlike most collegiate art collections, it does not just consist of portraits of worthies but represents the full range of European painting. The reopening is being marked with “Leonardo and his followers” (until 25 August), which marks the first time that Christ Church has exhibited all seven of its Leonardo drawings. These were among the works presented to the college in 1765 by General John Guise, who bought them on his Grand Tour of Italy. The celebrated “Grotesque head” probably belonged to Vasari. General Guise’s 2,000 Old Master drawings represent the only great eighteenth-century British drawings collection to survive intact.

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