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Leonardo 1452-1519. The Design of the World at Palazzo Reale

The greatest Leonardo da Vinci exhibition ever held in Italy opens at Milan’s Palazzo Reale on 16th April 2015. Leonardo 1452-1519. The Design of the World features over 200 works coming from a hundred museums and institutions from around the world, like the three paintings from the Louvre and thirty autograph drawings from the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The exhibition is promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Municipality of Milan, realized and produced by Palazzo Reale and Skira, and inaugurates the cultural season starting together with Expo 2015. It is not a celebrative exhibition, it highlights Da Vinci’s ability to combine scientific thought with creative talent, art and technology, through some central themes pinpointed by curators: the fundamental theme of drawings; the continuous arts comparison: paintings, drawings, sculptures; the comparison with the ancient; the new “movements of the spirit”; his tension toward utopian projects, real dreams, like being able to fly or walk on the water; and lastly the mechanical automation.

The show is organized into twelve sections illustrating the key themes in the artistic and scientific career of Leonardo, which includes the years of the Florentine training, his two experiences in Milan, up to the stay in France, underlining the constants of his artistic and scientific vision. It vividly emerges his interdisciplinary orientation and the continuous interlace of interests, through the analogical study approach to phenomena and their graphic representation. 

The exhibition presents seven extraordinary masterpieces from Leonardo: St Jerome from the Pinacoteca Vaticana, the Dreyfus Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, La Scapiliata (Head of a Woman) from the Galleria Nazionale di Parma, Portrait of a Musician from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana. The three paintings from the Louvre are particularly important: La Belle Ferronière, the Annunciation and St John the Baptist. Moreover, there will be some original Leonardo’s codex and at least hundred autograph drawings, like the Trivulzian Codex 2162.

Leonardo 1452-1519. The Design of the World

Palazzo Reale, Milan

16 April – 19 July 2015






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