Born in 1452 in Anchiano, a small village near Vinci, Leonardo was the Renaissance man par excellence: painter and sculptor, artist, set designer, thinker, man of science, anatomist, inventor, military engineer. A real "absolute genius".
He began his career as an artist as an apprentice in Florence, in the workshop of the great painter Verrocchio and his creative genius and his insatiable curiosity soon led him to be admired and respected by princes and powerful men. He was at the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan and Giuliano de Medici at the Vatican, as well as a guest of the French king, Francesco I, in Amboise, where Leonardo died on May 2, 1519. This year we commemorate the 500th anniversary of his death. For the important event, the "Committee for the Year of Leonardo da Vinci" was set up ad hoc, called to evaluate the rich calendar of events, with dozens of exhibitions and events.
The year 2019 is therefore the year of Leonardo and there are many events throughout Italy aimed at remembering and celebrating him. Throughout the peninsula will be held exhibitions and events that will see the Genie absolute protagonist.
We can begin to list the initiatives that will take place starting from Florence, where the year dedicated to Leonardo will be celebrated with numerous events, including the exhibition on Verrocchio at Palazzo Strozzi (9 March-14 July). In the complex of Santa Maria Novella, in the former refectory, will take place the exhibition entitled "Leonardo da Vinci and botany" (13 September-15 December), while in the Sala dei Gigli in Palazzo Vecchio will be held the exhibition "Leonardo and Florence" (25 March-24 June). Then, at the Uffizi, already an exhibition was inaugurated last October: "The Leicester Code of Leonardo da Vinci. The water - microscope of nature".
Always in Florence, the Galileo Museum hosts the conference entitled: "Leonardo: the universe of the manuscripts" (October 2019) and the exhibition: "The Library of Leonardo" (May - September 2019).
And if the Tuscan city will host many events, even in Vinci - Leonardo's place par excellence - from 15 April to 15 October 2019 will be held the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci. At the origins of the Genius", having as its object the link between Leonardo and his hometown, as well as the influences that the homeland had on his career as an artist and scientist. From the Florence State Archives there will be documents able to reconstruct the period of life in Vinci, including the first known drawing made by Leonardo: the "Landscape", and some notarial deeds, including the annotation of the birth of Leonardo by his grandfather Antonio da Vinci. Furthermore, on May 17th, Vinci will be one of the milestones of the 1000 Miles car race.
Other events will be held in Anghiari, in the province of Arezzo, including the exhibition "From the work of Leonardo da Vinci to the Uffizi Serie Gioviana", from 1 September 2019 to 12 January 2020, at the museum dedicated to the homonymous battle. In Prato, on the other hand, until next March, the Museo del Tessuto organized the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci and the fabric: ingenuity in textile machines".
Leonardo stayed for about twenty years in Milan. Therefore the Lombard city could not celebrate its genius. Not to mention that the models of Leonardo's machines are permanently displayed at the Museum of Science and Technology, where a path between art and science is presented.
In the program dedicated to Leonardo certainly could not miss events related to the Last Supper, preserved in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, including the recently concluded exhibition: "Leonardo da Vinci: first ideas for the Last Supper", in which was also possible to observe the preparatory drawings of one of the most famous works of the Tuscan artist.
At Castello Sforzesco, from May until January 2020, it will be possible to admire the decorations created by Leonardo and completed in 1498. It will be possible to see the restoration work just completed and the traces of the preparatory drawing, depicting landscape backgrounds.
Always at the Castello Sforzesco, inside the Ducal Chapel, will be hosted from 16 May to 18 August 2019 the exhibition "Leonardo and the Hall of Axis among Nature, Art and Science".
Instead from 2 May 2019 to 2 January 2020 a multimedia path will lead the audience in the Renaissance Milan of Leonardo, making him relive the city as it appeared at that time.
Four exhibitions will instead take place at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, including "The best of the Atlantic Codex. Leonardo engineer, architect and scientist ", from May to June 2019. The exhibition will show the most representative drawings of the famous manuscript preserved in the library: from famous studies for the flying machine, to engineering, architectural and military studies.
From July to September 2019 there will be a review entitled "The Atlantic Codex drawings of the French period", with a selection of 23 sheets of the manuscript dating back to Leonardo's French stay.
At the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana will also open in June the exhibition "Leonardo in France", with drawings of the French period from the Codex Atlanticus.
While the Crypt of San Sepolcro will host from 1 March to 30 June "Leonardo and Warhol in Milan. The genius experience ", an itinerary through the centuries that unites Leonardo to Pop Art by the American artist Warhol.
At Palazzo Litta, from autumn 2019, we will pay tribute to the figure of the patron Charles d'Amboise, friend and protector of Leonardo, with the exhibition "La corte del gran maestro. Leonardo da Vinci, Charles d'Amboisee the district of Porta Vercellina".
At Palazzo Reale there will be the exhibition entitled "The Dinner of Leonardo for Francesco I: a masterpiece in silk and silver" in which you can admire the precious tapestry that reproduces the fresco of Santa Maria delle Grazie, one of the very first copies of the Last Supper realized in tapestry by Leonardo. Furthermore, between November and December 2019, a conference of studies on the last decade of Leonardo's life between 1510 and 1519 will be organized at Palazzo Reale.
But Milan will dedicate to Leonardo not only exhibitions and events. The Piccolo Teatro di Milano will stage the play in the autumn of 2019: The Miracle of Dinner. A second show will be dedicated to the Last Supper.
In Rome, instead, from March to August, the Scuderie del Quirinale will host the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci. Scientist and inventor”.
Last but not least, in Turin an important collection of paintings on Leonardo will be presented at Palazzo Cavour until the month of May. Always in Turin, Leonardo's famous self-portrait will again be shown to the public in the prestigious home of the Royal Museums.