Featuring groundbreaking designs, stunning artistic sketches and pioneering technological innovations, the Codex Atlanticus is the basis for an exploration of five key areas of da Vinci’s mastery: mathematics, natural sciences, architecture, technology, and music. Original paintings by the School of da Vinci are presented in the centre of the exhibition, while the original pages of the Codex Atlanticus are displayed at the end. Interwoven throughout the journey are five contemporary art installations, including three new commissions, which reveal how da Vinci's ideas and thinking remains strikingly resonant today.
Combining his original works, with innovative contemporary design, interactive exhibits, technology, film and contemporary art, the exhibition presents rich insights into da Vinci’s art, science, technology and his fascination with nature. As the pioneer of what has become known as systemic thinking, da Vinci's approach to interweave connections among different disciplines, mark him out as a figure centuries ahead of his time. Although he was born more than 500 years ago, da Vinci's genius, creativity, and unique approach continue to inspire and shape the future we live in.
As Asia's only museum exploring the intersection between art, science and technology, there is no more fitting venue for Southeast Asia's first exhibition of original masterpieces by history's most canonical artist and scientist.
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- da Vinci Exhibit Image Gallery
Leonardo da Vinci
Fundamental to his life and works was a deep respect for nature and a strong preference for direct observation and experience. While the texts of ancient Greece and Rome were popular sources of information for his Renaissance contemporaries, da Vinci did not take this information for granted. He considered experience to be the only means of obtaining truth and knowledge. This approach, combined with his innovative holistic perspective, was the root of his technological ingenuity and his artistic genius, which continue to teach and inspire practitioners in both the arts and sciences today.
Da Vinci: Shaping the Future addresses five key subjects of da Vinci’s work: mathematics, natural sciences, architecture, technology, and music. At the heart of each section of the exhibition lies da Vinci’s holistic perspective. He applied the principles of one subject to each of the others, breaking disciplinary boundaries to invent new and innovative solutions. Through the lens of each subject, the infinite web of interdisciplinary connections present in his work can be discovered.
Da Vinci’s holistic perspective, now known as ‘systemic thinking’, placed him hundreds of years ahead of his time. His ability to observe and draw upon nature’s inherent connectivity is perhaps his greatest legacy. Since the major issues of the world we live in, from food security to climate change, cannot be solved in isolation, da Vinci’s innovative approach is acutely relevant to us today. Everything connects
The Codex Atlanticus
The original pages are not only a testament to da Vinci’s innovative interdisciplinary approach, but have a history of their own. Since the death of da Vinci, they have been passed from hand to hand, bound together then unbound, studied by experts internationally, and travelled across the world. These masterpieces have stood the test of time, connecting people for centuries as they continue to inspire and shape the future.
In Da Vinci: Shaping the Future, the pages are displayed in a specially constructed gallery at the conclusion of the show.
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Da Vinci and his School
Leonardo da Vinci is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and well-known painters of all time. Grounded in traditional practice, he was able to transform his methods and materials to express unprecedented intellectual and artistic concerns. For da Vinci, the creation of works of art was not just a profession, but also an expression of a larger pursuit to observe and understand nature. It was through this approach that he revolutionised painting.
His mastery of painting ensured he had a strong following of pupils who continued his artistic legacy. They became known as the School of da Vinci. Original masterpieces by the School of da Vinci are presented in this exhibition for the first time in Southeast Asia. These paintings, some of the most well-known works of the Renaissance, are reproductions of some of Leonardo Da Vinci's most important works. On display in the paintings gallery are:
Adoration of the Child with Saint Roch by Giampietrino (Gian Pietro Rizzoli)
Portrait of a Lady by Painter between Lombardy and Emilia
Christ Child with the Lamb by Bernardino Luini
Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana
In 1618, alongside the Library, Cardinal Borromeo created an art gallery, which was to serve as a support for a future Fine Arts Academy, to train young artists. Among the masterpieces featured in the Ambrosiana’s collections are: the Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci, the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, the Madonna of the Pavilion by Botticelli and the great Cartoon of the School of Athens by Raphael.
The original masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, and his School, are on loan from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.