A vast catalogue dedicated to Leonardo’s entire oeuvre on the occasion of the largest exhibition ever realised in Italy on the genius, symbol of Italian art and creativity.
Edited by two leading international specialists with the assistance of a prestigious academic committee and published to coincide with the biggest Leonardo exhibition ever held in Italy (produced by Skira and Comune di Milano/Palazzo Reale), Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519. The Design of the World illustrates the many talents of Leonardo – painter and draughtsman, scientist, musician and inventor – and his ability to combine the arts and sciences.
The book and exhibition are truly unprecedented due to the authority of the curators, the academic precision combined with educational intent, the number of works on display including paintings, drawings and manuscripts, and the exceptional loans from private collections and the world’s most important museums and libraries, such as the Louvre, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Musei Vaticani, the Royal Collection at Windsor and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
The book features numerous masterpieces, including a large number of paintings, more than one hundred drawings and various extraordinary codices and incunabula on loan from some of the greatest collections in the world: major works such as the Dreyfus Madonna from the National Gallery of Art in Washington and three masterpieces from the Louvre – the Belle Ferronnière, the Annunciation and the St John the Baptist – as well as thirty wonderful sheets from the Codex Atlanticus and thirty drawings from the English Royal Collection.
The multifaceted activity of the genius from Vinci is documented in full in the twelve sections that make up the work: Drawing as the cornerstone; Nature and the science of painting; The dialogue of the arts; The dialogue with antiquity; Anatomy, physiognomy and motions of the mind; Invention and mechanics; Dream; Reality and utopia; The unity of knowledge; De coelo et mundo: images of the divine; Leonardo’s legacy: pupils, followers and the Trattato della Pittura; The legend of Leonardo. Each section features essays by leading international Leonardo scholars, accompanied by entries relating to the works in the exhibition.