CREDITS: BIANCOSCURO ART MAGAZINE www.biancoscuro.it
The most important exhibition ever devoted to the great master, to be held during EXPO 2015. The extraordinary exhibition due to be inaugurated on 15 April 2015, the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo – born in Vinci on 15 April 1452 – is the biggest and most important Leonardo show ever to be held in Italy. It will open its doors to the public at Palazzo Reale on 16 April, in the run-up to the opening of EXPO 2015. Developed entirely in Milan, the exhibition is promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, which has specially granted State Guarantee insurance, and by the Milan City Council – Department of Culture. The show was conceived and produced by Palazzo Reale and Skira, as part of their fifteen-year-long partnership. The result of more than five years of hard work, the exhibition is curated by Pietro C. Marani and Maria Teresa Fiorio, two of the most important art historians specializing in the study of this Renaissance genius. It brings together over two hundred artworks from around one hundred museums and institutions throughout the world which, given the exceptional nature of the exhibition, have loaned some of their greatest treasures for the occasion, such as the three paintings by Leonardo from the Louvre and thirty autograph drawings from the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana – considered Leonardo’s “home” in Milan – which is lending the famous Portrait of a Musician and thirty-eight drawings from the C dex Atlanticus, is also a key contributor to the exhibition. The anthology paints a picture of Leonardo that is neither mythographical, rhetorical nor celebratory. Instead it embraces all the work of this multifaceted figure, considered both as an artist and scientist, through a number of key themes identified by the curators: drawing, a fundamental part of Leonardo’s work; the ongoing dialogue of the arts: drawing, painting and sculpture; the dialogue with antiquity; the absolute innovation of the motions of the mind; his tendency towards utopian designs and dreams, such as the ability to fly or walk on water, which will feature in a specific section of the exhibition; mechanical automation and so on. These themes made him a standard bearer for the unity of knowledge, through the continuous interweaving of science and the arts in his work.
The twelve sections of this extraordinary exhibition illustrate the central themes of Leonardo’s long artistic and scientific career, embracing not only the period of his training in Florence, but also his two stays in Milan, and even his move to France, thus emphasizing certain constants in his artistic and scientific vision. The exhibition narrative also conveys his vocation for interdisciplinarity and his constantly intertwining interests by adopting an analogical approach to the study of the phenomena and their graphic portrayal, summed up and culminating in his later paintings. The various sections of the show feature Leonardo’s autograph paintings, drawings and manuscripts, introduced by works of the painters, sculptors, technicians and theorists who preceded him. These provide additional context to the master’s contribution to the history of art, science and technique, while painting a picture of Leonardo as an artist and scientist of his time, eschewing the mythological and the banal. However, the two final sections also illustrate Leonardo’s influence as a painter and theorist on modern art and the formation of the legend that surrounds him, centred on the Mona Lisa. The exhibition, curated by Pietro C. Marani and Maria Teresa Fiorio, boasts a highly prestigious academic committee, formed back in 2009.
LEONARDO 1452-1519 Il disegno del mondo 16 aprile 2015 - 19 luglio 2015 Palazzo Reale, Milano INFO T. +39 02.92800375 www.skiragrandimostre.it/leonardo Dal giovedì alla domenica 9.30-24.00 Lunedì 14.30-19.30 Martedì e mercoledì 9.30-19.30