Turin celebrates Leonardo da Vinci with an exhibition of more than fifty drawings, including some masterpieces

From April 15 to July 14, 2019, Turin is hosting the exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci. Drawing the Future,' which celebrates the great Tuscan artist through drawings.

From April 15 to July 14, 2019, the Royal Museums of Turin will celebrate five hundred years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci, 1452 - Amboise, 1519) with an exhibition entitled Leonardo da Vinci. Drawing the Future, curated by Enrica Pagella, Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro and Paola Salvi. The exhibition recounts Leonardo da Vinci’s research between science and art through the medium of drawing. The itinerary revolves around the nucleus of Leonardo’s autographs preserved at the Royal Library of Turin, which includes thirteen drawings purchased by King Carlo Alberto in 1840, and the famous Codex on the Flight of Birds, donated in 1893 by Teodoro Sabachnikoff to King Umberto I. An extraordinary set of works datable roughly between 1480 and 1515, varying in subject and inspiration, but able to document Leonardo’s activity from his youth to full maturity.

Some of the drawings are related to well-known and celebrated works by the master: the nudes for the Battle of Anghiari, the horses for the Sforza and Trivulzio monuments, and the extraordinary study for the angel in the Virgin of the Rocks, known as the Maiden’s Face. As well as theunicum, the celebrated Portrait of an Old Man, long thought to be Leonardo’s self-portrait. In order to restore the meaning, origin and distinctiveness of Leonardo’s work, the genesis of the Turin drawings is investigated in the relationship with similar experiences of other artists, through the exhibition’s display of works by great masters, from the Florentine Andrea del Verrocchio to Pollaiolo, from the Lombard Bramante and Boltraffio to Michelangelo and Raphael.

The itinerary is divided into several sections devoted to as many possible keys to interpreting the master’s work and the experiences conducted by all Renaissance artists: the legacy of ancient art; the exploration of the anatomy and proportions of the human body; the comparison between art and poetry; the self-portrait; the study of faces and the challenge of representing emotions. Finally, studies on flight, architecture and a hitherto unexplored theme: “Leonardo and Piedmont,” which focuses on the citations of places in Leonardo’s writings and which has, as a catalyst drawing, the sheet of the Codex Atlanticus with the Ivrea Canal.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the University of Turin offers an interdisciplinary review inspired by Leonardo’s universality entitled Pioneers. Explorers of the Unknown from Leonardo to the Present Day. A public program that, starting from the drawings on display, delves into their themes and at the same time takes the form of a platform for exchange between the public and the protagonists of research, creating around the exhibition an unprecedented space for participation, dialogue and experimentation.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Piedmont Region, the City of Turin, the University of Turin, and the Polytechnic University of Turin and is included among the initiatives funded by the Committee for the Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Leonardo da Vinci at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. More information can be found at www.mostraleonardo.it.

Pictured: Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of an Old Man known as Self-Portrait, detail (c. 1515; sanguine on paper, 33.5 × 21.6 cm; Turin, Biblioteca Reale)

Turin celebrates Leonardo da Vinci with an exhibition of more than fifty drawings, including some masterpieces
Turin celebrates Leonardo da Vinci with an exhibition of more than fifty drawings, including some masterpieces

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