Why does Milan celebrate Leonardo?
Milan is the city where the Renaissance genius stayed the longest. Serving under Ludovico Sforza, Leonardo da Vinci arrived in the city in 1482 and then remained here for 20 years. These were the decades of his coming of age, years in which Leonardo found himself literally exploring all the fields of knowledge, leaving valuable testimonies throughout the Lombard territory. From the famous (and highly visited) Last Supper to the navigation system of the Lombard canals, from the Sala delle Asse to the Castello Sforzesco and the immaterial spirit of renewal which, thanks to Leonardo, can still be sensed throughout the city today.
So, let’s discover the vast program of events of "Leonardo 500" which, from place to place, is sure to spark much interest in many key locations across Milan.
Leonardo 500 at the Castello Sforzesco
The Castello Sforzesco will also be the backdrop for two other projects dedicated to the genius of Da Vinci: the exhibition "Leonardo and the Room of the Axis between Nature, Art and Science" (from May 16 to August 18, 2019) on display in the Sala dei Ducali and a multimedia tour in the Sala delle Armi, thanks to which visitors can discover how Milan looked like in Leonardo's eyes during the years of his stay.
Leonardo 500 at the Palazzo Reale
Palazzo Reale will also be hosting monographic exhibitions and tours dedicated to Leonardo, with the aim of giving visitors the opportunity to discover the genius of Da Vinci. The first of the three exhibitions, entitled "The wonderful world of nature" (from March to July 2019), will explore the relationship between Leonardo and the nature of the Lombard territory during the years of his long stay in the city.
The second exhibition, entitled "Leonardo Enciclopedico Contemporanea" (from May to August 2019), will feature installations designed by the ensemble of artists Studio Azzurro and dedicated to the genius of the Italian Renaissance.
Concluding the events hosted at Palazzo Reale is a true gem: during the exhibition entitled "The dinner of Leonardo for Francis I: a newly restored masterpiece in silk and silver" (from October 7 to November 17, 2019), the beautiful tapestry of the Vatican Museums, or one of the very first copies ever made of the Last Supper, now visible for the first time after many years of restoration, will be on display for visitors to see.
Leonardo da Vinci Parade at the National Museum of Science and Technology
The Leonardo Da Vinci Parade, an unusual combination of art and science, will be on display at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Visitors will be able to take a closer look at the historical models of Leonardo's engineering works and, at the same time, admire the works and frescoes of Lombard painters of the 16th century from the Brera Museum.
For the National Museum of Science and Technology, it is also a way of celebrating its origins with great pomp. In 1953, the year in which it opened to the public, the museum exhibited these collections which, to date, continue to provide a representation of Leonardo's mechanics unlike any other in the world that aptly pays tribute to the artist and inventor.
The exhibition will be open to the public until October 19, 2019.
The Codex Atlanticus at the Venerable Ambrosian Library
Leonardo's life and works are linked by a great many writings, notes and drawings that, overall, are referred to as the Codex Atlanticus. The Codex Atlanticus, now kept by the Venerable Ambrosian Library, is one of the most incredible testimonies of Leonardo's genius because it shows off his art, his engineering studies and his architectural intuitions.
And the Ambrosiana will add luster to Leonardo's immense legacy by exhibiting a total of 46 sheets from the Codex Atlanticus, chosen from among the most important ones, so as to retrace the artist's career from his youth to the time spent in Milan up to the French years at the service of Francesco I.
Date of the events scheduled to take place at the Ambrosiana
- From March 19 to June 16: Leonardo da Vinci and the secrets of the Codex Atlanticus
- From June 18 to September 15, 2019: Leonardo in France. Sheets from the French period of the Code
- From September 17m 2019 to January 12, 2020: Leonardo and his legacy: artists and techniques.
Leonardo 500 at the Museum of the 20th Century
The celebration of Leonardo at the Museo del Novecento focuses on a dialogue with contemporary art through two works dedicated to the genius of Leonardo. "Atlantico" and "Giardino Abusivo" are the two works on display, respectively at the GAM – “Galleria d'Arte Moderna” (Gallery of Modern Art) and at the Museum of Natural History.
From June 14 to September 15, 2019, the halls of the Museum of the 20th Century will also host the exhibition "Lucio Fontana. A homage to Leonardo", a dialogue between past and present with a study on the iconography of the Horse, the Rampant Horse and the Horse and Knight, themes through which artists of the 20th century have been confronted with Italy’s illustrious artistic past.
Other events of the Leonardo 500 program
Being Leonardo da Vinci. An impossible interviewFrom May 2-5, 2019
Small Theater Studio Melato
The theater explores Leonardo's genius by staging an impossible interview as a way to retrace the main events in the life and poetry of the Renaissance genius. Gianni Quillico and Jacopo Rampini will be staging the interview, while Massimiliano Finnanzer Flory will play Leonardo.
Around Leonardo. The Madonna Litta and the master's workshopFrom November 8, 2019 to February 10, 2020 Poldi Pezzoli Museum
Not just the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Among Leonardo's most famous works is also the Madonna Litta, now located at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. As part of Leonardo 500, the work returns to its native country, creating a museum itinerary thanks to which visitors can discover the life of Leonardo's workshop in Milan and the relationship between the master and his students.
Last Supper after Leonardo From April 2 to June 30, 2019 Stelline Foundation
An exhibition that will feature a contemporary interpretation of Leonardo's Last Supper that will borrow from both eastern and western stylistic elements.
Finally, Leonardo 500 is an excellent opportunity to discover Milan and all the places that are inseparably linked to the genius of Da Vinci: from the Last Supper in the former refectory of the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie to Leonardo's Vineyard, from the Ambrosian Picture Gallery to the Monument to Leonardo da Vinci in Piazza della Scala