Exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci. The genius and his inventions"

24 January 2017

The exhibit presents 40 machines and inventions by Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci

Until June 2017 the Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) is holding the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci. The genius and his inventions", an Italian production dedicated to the most noteworthy creations from this Renaissance artist and inventor.

The exhibition features 40 machines and inventions designed by Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci, and built based on the manuscripts, diagrams, drawings and directions in his codex. Some of these have been faithfully reproduced using materials typical of his era, and are noteworthy as they were created specifically to simplify people’s lives. These works were designed between 1482 and 1510.

The aim of this exhibit is to publicise the figure of Leonardo da Vinci, not just as an artist and sculptor, but as Renaissance man with a dynamic global view of the world and knowledge which covered all the disciplines of this time. 

Since 2009, “Leonardo da Vinci. The genius and his inventions " has been a permanent exhibit at the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome. In its itinerant form, this exhibition reaches the mNACTEC, Catalonia and Spain for the first time, after visiting different world cities including Rome, Vienna, Istanbul, Berlin, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

As a novelty the exhibition in the mNACTEC features holograms in the exhibition space, showing its interest in the use of new technologies. These holograms complement the exhibition, providing visitors with a unique sensory experience. 

Aspects of the exhibition
The exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci. The genius and his inventions” is structured around the four elements of nature (air, water, earth and fire). It also includes a space dedicated to virtual elements and another to Leonardo’s artistic life: 

  • Interactive machines: A total of 16 machines that visitors can use directly combining the experience of operation with an exploration of the principles of physics and mechanics that are involved in each of them.
  • Water: The machines and inventions taken from Leonardo da Vinci’s codex and relating to the use of water, navigation, floating and even lifesaving systems.
  • Air: The famous designs of articulated wings that emulate the morphology of birdwings. All the machines are accompanied by photos of drawings and calculations by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Earth: The mechanisms of civil engineering, including the creation of bridges, machines for rural work and bicycles.
  • Fire: Inventions for use in defence and war, including machines as surprising as a mobile tank with cannons.
  • Art: Reproductions of 4 of his most famous paintings.

The exhibition also presents 9 holograms in 6 languages showing Leonardo da Vinci’s most interesting artwork, machines in motion and the techniques he used in his paintings. 

There is also an interactive 3D installation showing instruments in operation and virtual visits to the exhibition are on offer.

Parallel activities
In order to expand the scope of the exhibition, the mNACTEC has programmed several activities based around the “Leonardo da Vinci: The genius and his inventions” exhibition, directed at education, families and dissemination.

The school activities include workshops, guided visits and competitions. Proposals for family activities include guided visits, dramatized visits and children’s workshops. There are plans to schedule several conferences and activities based on the exhibitions, and a calendar for these will be published shortly.

All the complementary activities and information on the exhibition are featured on the web created specially for the event: www.mnactec.cat/leonardo