Leonardo da Vinci paintings to be brought together

The Virgin of the Rocks, between 1483 and 1486 The National Portrait Gallery's version of the work will be loaned to The Louvre

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London's National Gallery and The Louvre in Paris have announced plans to unite both versions of Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin Of The Rocks.

The Louvre is to lend its version to the London gallery where it will be displayed as part of a new exhibition.

In return, the gallery will lend the French institution its cartoon called The Virgin And Child With Saint Anne And John The Baptist.

National Gallery director Dr Nicholas Penny said they are "delighted".

He said that his colleagues were grateful to their French counterparts for the loan of the "celebrated painting" which was created 25 years prior to the National's Virgin Of The Rocks Together work.

The two exhibitions will mark the artist's career and will provide a "unique chance" for visitors to study his work.

The Louvre's director Henri Loyrette said the "exceptional collaboration" between the two galleries will provide the "historical juxtaposition long desired by art historians".

The National's Painter Of The Court Of Milan exhibition will start in November and run until February next year.

The Louvre's show will start in March and will continue until June.

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