Da Vinci is bigger draw than Hockney as records smashed

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DAVID HOCKNEY’S mammoth painting Bigger Trees Near Warter attracted record numbers to a Hull art gallery last year, but now an earlier master has proved an even bigger draw.

More than 11,000 people have visited a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Ferens over its opening 10 days – 2,000 more than saw the Hockney over the same period.

The exhibition, entitled Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, has smashed most records in the gallery’s 85-year history. More than 1,400 people came through the doors last Thursday, the biggest weekday total, while the 2,500 visitors on Saturday made it the busiest day ever.

Sunday saw a queue stretching back to Whitefriargate, when 400 people passed through the doors within the first 10 minutes.

Two adult workshops recreating “old master” drawing techniques, led by paper conservator Richard Hawkes, have sold out and the lecture programme tickets are in high demand.

Coun Terry Geraghty, city council portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “The exhibition has proved to be a resounding success and showed that Hull was well chosen by the Royal Collection as the only place in the north of England to show the drawings. I hope the high number of people visiting the gallery and city centre continues, bringing increased trade for businesses and showing others that Hull is a place to invest and do business.”

More than 63,000 people saw the Hockney painting at the Ferens. The da Vinci exhibition is free to enter and runs until January 20.