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Royal Library of Turin

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The Royal Library of Turin (Biblioteca Reale di Torino) is located under the porticoes on the ground floor of the Royal Palace (today a World Heritage Site) in the north-west Italian city of Turin. At the time of the library’s foundation around 1840, Turin was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the library was fitted out by Pelagio Palagi on the initiative of the King of Sardinia Carlo Alberto in order to hold the rare manuscripts that had been collected by the House of Savoy for many years. The king also increased the collection by 2000 drawings by famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci. In 1893, during the reign of Umberto I of Savoy as King of Italy, the collection of Leonardo da Vinci drawings was added to by a Russian collector who donated Codex on the Flight of Birds. Further works by Leonardo held by the library include his well-known self-portrait, his study for the angel in the first version of his Virgin of the Rocks, and his study for the angel in Verrocchio's The Baptism of Christ.


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