logo museoleonardiano vinci
Leonardo in Vinci. Back to the origins of the Genius
Museo Leonardiano, 15 April 2019 - 6 January 2020
At the Museo Leonardiano, the exhibition Leonardo in Vinci. Back to the origins of the Genius opened on April 15th before the Italian President, celebrates the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. 

The exhibition focuses on the relationship between Leonardo and his hometown, and on the influences that his homeland has had on his evolution as an artist, a scientist, an engineer. 

In this perspective, besides Leonardo’s first known drawing, the Landscape 8P (1473), which can be explored during the exhibition thanks to an innovative touch screen technology; we find archival documents tracing the events surrounding Leonardo’s birth and childhood as well as the project for a water retention basin that Leonardo was planning to develop for his hometown.

    Retracing Leonardo’s days in Vinci through archival documents

    “a grandchild of mine was born, son of Ser Piero my son, on Saturday April 15th at 3 in the morning. He was named Lionardo”. These words open the annotation in which Antonio Da Vinci marks the birth of his first grandchild, Leonardo, on April 15th 1452, maybe the most thrilling document on loan from the State Archives in Florence. The 1458 and 1469 declarations to the Land Registry tell us how Leonardo, love child of the notary Ser Piero da Vinci and of a woman called Caterina, raised by his father’s family, to which also belonged his uncle Francesco, who declared Leonardo the sole heir of his properties as attested by his will, on display in the exhibition. The very first events of Leonardo’s life are also narrated in the evocative immersive projection Ebbe nome Lionardo.

    Starting from Leonardo’s drawings, we reconstruct the less-known story of the Serravalle basin
     If Leonardo’s fascination with water and his interest toward machines able to employ its inexhaustible power have their roots in his childhood in Vinci, it is also true that he mostly developed his skills as a hydraulic engineer during the twenty years he spent in Milan. In the early 1500s, back to Florence designing a great navigable channel to connect Florence to the sea, Leonardo may have thought of returning to Vinci, where he wanted to build a water retention basin gathering the water of three streams through an enormous dam. This seems to be confimed by a few drawings whose duplicates are on display, re-elaborated through a projection that ‘animates’ the model present in the room.
    Real or fantasy landscape?
    The Landscape 8P is the first known drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, which he dated “August 5th 1473”. This early drawing, on loan from the Uffizi Gallery for the first six weeks of the exhibition, represents a paradigm of Leonardo’s future works and, in many ways, it is possible to recognize the influence of the sceneries of the Montalbano and Valdinievole areas, which Leonardo knew since childhood. A view inspired by the landscapes of his homeland, a representation of a nature in constant evolution, an ideal landscape: the installations throughout the exhibition allow you to analyze the possible interpretations of this famous Landscape, which for the first time can be “browsed” in the smallest detail thanks to an innovative touch screen app.