The genius of Leonardo da Vinci highlighted in Beurs van Berlage

From 27 January to 20 June 2017, the travelling exhibition Leonardo da Vinci – Artist – Inventor – Genius arrives at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. This major retrospective shows that Leonardo da Vinci was much more than simply the painter of the Mona Lisa. He opened his mind in the 15th century and was ahead of his time by several hundred years in both his thoughts and actions.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is widely acclaimed as the most broad-minded and brilliant scientist, artist and inventor ever to live. Almost five centuries after his death, interest in his work remains unabated. The recent discovery in Paris of an original pen and ink drawing by him (estimated value € 15 million) and the acquisition of a private collection by the Polish authorities, including Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine (1490) both made front-page news worldwide.

Da Vinci was born in the Italian city of Florence, where he studied under the sculptor and painter Verrocchio. “A wise student increases the skill of his teacher,” Da Vinci stated and, from Milan, he continued to follow his own path with renowned masterpieces, such as The Last Supper and the world’s most famous portrait, La Giaconda, better known as the Mona Lisa. It is in these works that Da Vinci’s masterful technique and progressiveness are best represented. Not only Da Vinci’s artworks but also his inventions still capture the imagination.

The exhibition Leonardo da Vinci – Artist – Inventor – Genius makes all of his work tangible to a wide audience. Alongside reproductions of Da Vinci’s most famous artworks, the exhibition also includes dozens of his inventions, reconstructed in wood. These have been assembled meticulously by Italian craftsmen, based on Da Vinci’s original drawings, and a large portion of them can be touched and operated by visitors. The literal tangibility of the exhibited work provides insight into the mind of this genius and paints a clear picture of how far ahead of his time Da Vinci was. Visitors are transported through the myths and legends surrounding his life and are able to gain first-hand experience of how Da Vinci’s legacy continues to inspire, challenge and open a window to the mind that allows creativity to enter.

’Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art’ – Leonardo de Vinci

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