Despite only a handful of completed works, Da Vinciís legacy in art and science has persevered; for as they say, absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. Grande Exhibitions, an idea conceived in 2006, has created the most comprehensive of Da Vinciís exhibitions, bringing to life the true range of his genius. The exhibition, an enlightening experience for all, has already taken place in over 30 cities, including Madrid, St.Petersburg, Tokyo, Washington, Buenos Aires, and Rome, and will continue in its journey around the world. It will comprise of not only his art, but also the scientific and engineering principles he discovered, fully capturing the range of his virtuosity.
Da Vinci was and still is considered foremost as an artist- the creator of such masterpieces as the ĎMona Lisaí, ĎMadonna of the Rocksí, and ĎThe Last Supperí. However, he was more than just that; he possessed one of the greatest scientific minds of his time, creating meticulous scientific and technical observations systematically. It seems that many of his recordings were planned to be published, yet due to his failure to complete the projects he generated, they remained unknown until the 19th century. After careful assessment, his theories and observations have been shown to foreshadow many later breakthroughs throughout the world.
Da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man, having changed the world through his experimentation, discoveries, and conceptualization. Born in 1452, as part of a family that extended to includeseventeen half brothers and sisters, Da Vinciís surroundings granted him access to scholarly texts owned by his family and friends. At the age of 15, he apprenticed at the workshop of Andrea Del Verrochio, an Italian sculptor, painter, and goldsmith. During his time in the workshop, Da Vinci regularly took part in a number of Del Verrochioís paintings. Claims have suggested that Verrochiohadoncevowed to discontinue painting due to the eminence of Da Vinciís angel included inĎBaptism of Christ.í
Da Vinci remained in Verrochioís workshop until 1477, when he chose to open his own. Thereafter, he entered the service of the Duke of Milan where he engrossed himself in painting, sculpting, arranging court festivals, and designing weapons and machinery as well as buildings. His interests were considerably broad, yet they covered four main themes inclusive of painting, architecture, the elements of mechanics, and human anatomy. Of his most enjoyable studies, Da Vinci appreciated science, and he was known to often lock himself away observing nature and analyzing universal truths. He recorded these studies in illustrated books which now lie in the possession of museums and fortunate individuals.
Throughout a career which spanned seventeen years, Da Vinci only fullycompletedsix works, yet most of his genius can be seen within his codices- the notebooks of drawings and writings he contrived. For this reason, the traveling exhibition consists of works that artisans have constructedfrom Da Vinciís unproduced designs. Life-size machines of inventions such as a car, helicopter, bicycle, parachute, and a military tank have all been constructed by Italian artisans through careful assessment of Da Vinciís codices. Furthermore, a360˚ walk-around replica and analysis of the Mona Lisa named ĎThe Secrets of Mona Lisa,íis displayed. Finally, a presentation depicting the life and times of Da Vinci, his alphabet and writing techniques, and anatomical drawings are demonstrated as well. Together, this exhibition amasses the splendor of Da Vinciís work and brings to light the entirety of his genius.
Da Vinci The Genius Has Been Created By Grande Exhibitions, The Anthropos Foundation, Italy and PascalCotte, France.
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #38 March 2012