A RECORD breaking exhibition has brought thousands of people to Southampton in only a few months.

More than 31,000 visited the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition  held at Southampton City Art Gallery from February 1 to May 6 this year.

This is more than the number of visitors that visited the art gallery in the city between 2017 and 2018, when a total of 24,311 people visited all exhibitions throughout the whole year.

The figures were revealed in a report published by  Southampton City Council (SCC).

The authority is responsible for the running of the art gallery in the city.

According to the document, the data on the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition comes in addition to the responses to a questionnaire on the exhibition.

It showed that more than 25% of respondents had never visited the gallery before, 90% rated the exhibition excellent, and 100% said they would visit the art gallery again.

The news comes as it was announced that Southampton will bid to become City of Culture 2025.

Southampton’s City Art Gallery was one of just 12 venues around the country to host works by Leonardo da Vinci in the 500th year since his death.

Drawings from the Royal Collection Trust – of which Prince Charles is chair – have been specially curated to show the scope of Da Vinci’s scientific and creative genius.

The works were selected to reflect the full range of Leonardo’s interests – painting, sculpture, architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. 

Welcoming the success of the exhibition, councillor Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for house and culture, said: “I am absolutely delighted.

“ It  was great to see people from all ages and backgrounds come to see these rare pieces of art from one of the most renowned artist of all time.

“We had visitors from around the world coming especially to view his art alongside some of Southampton’s finest. Southampton City art Gallery is the jewel in our crown, it is the reason we were one of the few places selected by the Royal Collections to host and celebrate Da Vinci.”

As reported, on Wednesday civic chiefs put aside their political differences  and gave their support to the creation of Southampton’s City of Culture bid.

This means that councillors will now work with stakeholders, partners, members of the community to prepare a bid which is expected to be submitted in 2021.