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Leonardo and water, at the Civic Aquarium of Milan

The location is not casual: the Civic Aquarium of Milan is the only building remained from Expo Milan 1906. Today with Expo 2015, the two-story building in liberty style is hosting the exhibition “Leonardo and Water. Between science and practice in Milan”, from 23 May until 6 September 2015. A journey entirely dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of water, promoted  by the Municipality of Milan and Silvana Editoriale, curated by Claudio Calì and Rita Capurro.The event is part of Expo in the City; the program of initiatives which will accompany the cultural life of the city during the six months of the Universal Exhibition.

The common thread is water, the precious element at the centre of Leonardo da Vinci’s study and reflection. The visitor is accompanied  by a narrative to help discover the master’s work,following an exhibition pivots on three sections.Specific in-depth study is dedicated to Leonardo’s Milanese period, his studies of water and his boats, and to the influence of his projects on promoting the navigation of rivers in the Milanese region. The first and largest section is dedicated to Leonardo’s studies in the Lombardy region. A specific focus on the intervention planned to render the Adda navigable, along the stretch of river between Brivio and Trezzo, introduces to the second section of the exhibition. Recorded narration is provided by a video projection, which dynamically shows the evolution of the Milanese waterways up until the years of Leonardo’s arrival.

The narrative embellishes the exhibition of historical models from the Museum of Science and Technology and several copies of pages from the Atlantic Code, from the Ente Raccolta Vinciana. In reference to the legendary image of Leonardo, inventor of ships”, there is a delightful painting by Cherubino Cornienti, from the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan. In the basement, it’s shown a reproduction of the Leicester Code, Leonardo’s manuscript almost entirely dedicated to water. The exhibition ends with an area exhibiting tanks with two spectacular specimens of fossil fish coming from Bolca (near Verona), which 50 million years ago was a tropical lagoon. Leonardo was the first scientist to realize that those fossils belonged to ancient aquatic organisms.

Leonardo and Water

Between science and practice in Milan

23 May – 6 September 2015

Civic Aquarium of Milan

Leonardo e l’acqua

Tra scienza e pratica a Milano

23 maggio – 6 settembre 2015

Acquario Civico di Milano




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