August 18, 2009
For more information:
Maryland Science Center Hosts "Da Vinci–The Genius"
The most comprehensive traveling exhibition on Leonardo Da Vinci opens October 3, 2009
Baltimore, MD (August 31) – “Da Vinci – The Genius,” the most complete and comprehensive traveling exhibition ever created on Leonardo Da Vinci, will make its East Coast debut at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor beginning October 3, 2009. The exhibition will be on display in the Legg Mason Gallery of the Maryland Science Center through January 31, 2010.
The Exhibition Experience
Da Vinci – The Genius demonstrates the full scope of Leonardo Da Vinci’s remarkable genius as an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician and architect.
The 10,000 square foot exhibition features a vast array of full-scale machine inventions crafted from Da Vinci’s personal codices (notebooks). Visitors will encounter more than 65 of Da Vinci’s inventions, many of which have been crafted by using techniques and materials of 15th century Italy, including wood, cotton, brass, iron, canvas and chord. The inventions focus on the themes of physics and mechanical principles, civil machines, flight studies machines, military machines, hydraulic machines and musical instruments. Among the Da Vinci creations on display are his visions for the glider, parachute, the precursor to the modern helicopter, the bicycle, forerunner to the modern military tank, automobile, submarine, ball bearing and gear systems, and other amazing inventions that were far ahead of their time. Many of the inventions are interactive, with some built to scale, and others oversized to enhance the impact and viewing experience for the visitor.
A highlight section within the exhibition is the “Secrets of Mona Lisa” which showcases the work of French engineer Pascal Cotte. His life-long passion for the study and preservation of the Mona Lisa led him to invent the cutting edge 240-megapixel Multi-spectral Imaging Camera, which uses patented infrared technology and intense illumination to scan the painting and virtually peel away layers of varnish applied over centuries. With his camera, Cotte was able to uncover how the Mona Lisa looked as she was originally painted, including layers of over-painting, restoration and attempts at preservation - even identifying the individual pigments that Da Vinci used. Cotte was granted unprecedented access to the Mona Lisa through the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture in France and The Louvre Museum, to photograph the painting “in the nude” and then scientifically examine the findings. His amazing revelations are displayed in gallery style and in full on super size, high resolution prints, with the largest being the 14ft x 10ft giant infra-red of Mona Lisa.
Da Vinci – The Genius also includes reproductions and written explanations by Vincian experts and museum curators exploring his most famous Renaissance art, including the Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks, and The Annunciation, amazing anatomical sketches, the preparatory drawings of the Anghiari Battle, and three-dimensional interactive presentations of the Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man, and the Sforza Horse sculpture that offer never before seen perspectives on these famous works.
“Da Vinci the Genius presents a wonderful opportunity for the Maryland Science Center to continue to fulfill its mission of encouraging innovation, invention, and scientific discovery,” said Maryland Science Center President and CEO Van Reiner. “We’re excited to offer this exhibition and know that the work of Leonardo and the experience will inspire our visitors.”
“This exhibition was created to celebrate Leonardo Da Vinci’s great works and place them all together in a single location where people can come and marvel at the brilliance of this great mind,” said Bruce Peterson, Founder and Managing Director of Grande Exhibitions. “Leonardo Da Vinci is arguably the greatest genius the world has ever known and this show makes it abundantly clear why that proposition is virtually irrefutable.”
Most of what is known about Da Vinci’s scientific ideas comes from his codices. Of the at least 24,000 pages he is believed to have originally penned, only 6,000 or so remain intact today. In his codices, he wrote and drew about geometry, engineering, fauna and flora, mathematics, physics and philosophy. He created incredibly detailed anatomical sketches, and engineered extremely innovative designs for buildings and mechanical devices, most of which were never actually built while Da Vinci was alive.
Under the direction of Modesto Veccia, president of the Anthropos Association and curator and founder of Il Genio di Leonardo Da Vinci Museo in Rome, a cadre of Italian artisans has spent the last decade studying and interpreting Da Vinci’s codices and crafting the machine inventions contained in the exhibition.
The artisans that have created Da Vinci’s works have spent countless hours translating an old Florentine dialect and deciphering Da Vinci’s shorthand. Adding to the challenge of bringing Da Vinci’s ideas to life is that he wrote his codices in a kind of shorthand that he invented, and using “mirror image writing,” starting at the right side of the page and moving left.
Following its appearance at the Maryland Science Center, the exhibition will embark on a multi-year tour of North America. Da Vinci – The Genius was developed jointly by the Anthropos Association of Italy and Grande Exhibitions.
The Maryland Science Center is located at 601 Light Street at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For information and tickets, visit www.marylandsciencecenter.org or www.davincithegenius.com call the 24-Hour Information Line at 410-685-5225.
About the Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is visited by more than 500,000 people each year. Popular exhibits include: Dinosaur Mysteries with full-size dinosaurs and interactive paleontology activities; a day in the life of the human body in Your Body: The Inside Story; and dozens of interactive experiments in Newton’s Alley. Other attractions include the Kids Room, the five-story St. John Properties IMAX Theater, and the world-famous Davis Planetarium.
About Grande Exhibitions
Creators and promoters of the Exhibition who have researched, sourced and interpreted much of what is contained in the exhibition. Based in Rome Italy and Melbourne Australia, Grande Exhibitions is dedicated to delivering quality blockbuster exhibitions of mass appeal that entertain and educate.
About the Anthropos Association
From Il Genio de Leonardo Da Vinci Museo in Rome, talented and gifted Artisans have made the machines inventions and many items that you see on display at the exhibitions. They have spent more than 10 years bringing to life over 120 of Leonardo’s concepts and designs and use in the main techniques and materials available in 15th Century Italy.