Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Da Vinci Machines Exhibition

This Leonardo da Vinci exhibition showing in Bradenton, Florida, is one of only three in the world. One is in Australia, one is in Florence, Italy and one is the one we saw.

Over 60 machines, meticulously hand-crafted by Florentine artisans, bring Da Vinci’s amazing visions to life and provide fascinating insight into many of the machines of our current, modern world: the tank, the helicopter, the hang glider, the bicycle, the modern warship. All sprang from the mind of Leonardo da Vinci.

Here's the write up from the website:

Experience Da Vinci’s genius brought to life as you witness actual working models and machines carefully reconstructed from Da Vinci’s own drawings, notes and designs. See them move. Touch and control them. And be awed by the ceaseless magnitude of intellect and invention way ahead of its time.

As we entered the auditorium, we walked through a gallery of some of his portraits. Of course, he is, and was, known as a world famous painter. Ever heard of the Mona Lisa? or the Last Supper?

That light is not part of the painting, it's coming from the overhead light.

Then, as you enter the main auditorium room, we were awestruck at the numerous displays throughout the room, the walls, the upper walls and the ceiling.

Notice the extra large posters of his paintings above the exhibits?

I loved the way they took his drawings, enlarged them and put them on the wall. Nicely done.

This enlargement is right next to the small scale models and drawing which makes for a visual buffet. 
The room was set up in categories, like "war" and "mechanical", and "flight". Then the way the exhibits were set up with one of da Vinci's drawing and a descriptive write-up. Next to it was the model that the artisans from Florence constructed. I was told that they even went to the same forest that da Vinci used to use the same wood. They had one continuous movie playing about his life (about 45 minutes long and very interesting) and the other was a man describing many of the exhibits on display, which helped us understand them better.

So...let me place a number of these exhibits that you can read and browse through so you can experience it like we did (well, sort of).

A life preserver !

The forerunner to modern day scuba gear.

Water skis

There was a very large over-sized book in the gift shop of all his painting, drawings, sketches, etc. Here is a couple of pages showing his study on cloth and folds for one of his painting. Amazing work.

I bet you didn't know that Kim was the inspiration for the Mona Lisa !

We spent about 4 hours in the exhibit hall and came away with a greater appreciation for Leonardo da Vinci, I would encourage you to look up his biography sometime.

All the exhibits photos we took are located here as well:

Hope you enjoyed this one !

Kim and Steve

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