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//It’s Leonardo da Vinci’s year: discover the unmissable exhibitions

It’s Leonardo da Vinci’s year: discover the unmissable exhibitions

15/05/2019Category : Art

2019 is a year dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. As a matter of fact, it is his 500th death anniversary (he died on 2 May 1519 in Amboise, France), and numberless occurrences have been organised in several Italian cities to celebrate the Renaissance genius. Artist, painter, sculptor, scientist, anatomist, genius, inventor and much more besides, all mankind has undoubtedly benefitted by his studies and initiative. This article describes the tribute to Leonardo organised in leading Italian cities proposing must see exhibitions, events and occasions centred on art.


Starting with the Tribute to Leonardo da Vinci organised by the Milan Furniture Fair 2019, from 2 May 2019 onwards an intensive schedule of exhibitions and events will be held in 2019, though many celebratory occurrences were already launched in late 2018. Let’s see what some Italian cities have in store for us, starting from Milan, where we count hundreds of initiatives dedicated to Leonardo.

foto Leonardo da vinci progetti

Disegno autentico di Leonardo: progetto di macchina da guerra


Seventeen years have elapsed since the exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci’s works was held in Milan and, perhaps, this is why the leading city of Lombardy wants to pay homage to him.

The Palazzo Reale hosts the exhibition that presents Leonardo’s wonderful relations with nature from March to 7 July. This particular event associates Leonardo’s works with items at the Museum of Natural History in Milan. Leonardo enciclopedico contemporaneo is the exhibition that will, instead, be held until August, with various works and installations dedicated to Leonardo’s genius. The tapestry depicting the Last Supper, on loan directly from the Vatican Museums, will be displayed from 7 October to 17 November. One of the very first copies of the fresco, it was made to meet the French Court’s need to take away the image of a work that could not be transported.

The Sforza Castle too will host two occurrences, starting from May 2019. One entitled Leonardo e la Sala delle Asse tra natura, arte e scienza will be held at the Ducal Chapel until 18 August, and will feature several genuine drawings by Leonardo and some of his famous contemporaries. In the Weapons Room, instead, we find a virtual Museum that relates Leonardo’s Milan through a software until 12 January 2020.

The Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana is the magnificent venue of the exhibition I segreti del Codice Atlantico, Leonardo all’Ambrosiana (until 19 June), which displays drawings of the Milanese period, also with projects for war machines and engineering studies. The exhibition Leonardo in Francia. Disegni di epoca francese dal Codice Atlantico (18 June-15 September) relates the final years of the Maestro’s activity by displaying 23 sheets of the Atlantic Codex. The cycle of exhibitions centred on Leonardo at the Ambrosiana, in Milan, will close with the event Leonardo and his heritage: artists and techniques (17 September-12 January 2020).

The Museum of Science and Technology is a must. From 19 July to 13 October it proposes an extensive selection of spectacular models created in the 1950s by revisiting Leonardo’s drawings, which are laid out to establish a dialogue with frescoes by 16th century Lombard painters, granted for storage by the Brera Art Gallery in 1952.

The interesting exhibition at the Museo del Novecento on 14 June-15 September, entitled Confronto Possibile, a comparison between Lucio Fontana and Leonardo da Vinci, is entirely focused on the iconography of the horse.


Thirteen autographed works purchased by King Charles Albert, along with the magnificent study on the flight of birds, will be displayed at the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci. Drawing the Future, hosted by the Royal Museums. Works presented include the famous Self Portrait, notes and studies for the Battle of Anghiari, and the angel for the Virgin of the Rocks. Alongside Leonardo’s works, you will also find works by Raffaello, Michelangelo and Bramante.


Considering his roots, the leading city of Tuscany could not fail to celebrate Leonardo. Events commenced in late 2018 (the exhibition “The Codex Leicester” drew to a close early in 2019).

On 8 March Palazzo Strozzi opened the exhibition on Verrocchio, Leonardo’s maestro. Drawings and studies by Leonardo will be displayed alongside works by Botticelli, Perugino and Ghirlandaio until 14 July 2019.

Palazzo Vecchio. Until 24 June 2019 the Sala dei Gigli will be the venue of the exhibition Leonardo and Florence: a selection of sheets containing works and studies carried out by Leonardo during his many stays in Florence.

progetto Leonardo da vinci progetti

Studio di Leonardo sul volo


The Scuderie del Quirinale are the setting for the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci. Science before science” that will be held until 30 June 2019. The event summarises Leonardo’s technological and scientific work with interesting cultural parallelisms with his contemporaries. Courses and workshops will be held directly in the premises of the Scuderie del Quirinale, and the whole city of Rome will be the scene of the initiative “Leonardo in the city”, an extensive series of occurrences and educational meetings on Leonardo’s personality and works.


Leonardo da Vinci was also a scenographer. The exhibition held at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, from 6 May provides a detailed presentation with an unprecedented comparison of Leonardo’s anatomical drawings and the pictures and studies by his contemporary scientists.


2019 marks the 58th Venice Biennale Arte in the leading city of Veneto. Until 14 July the Gallerie dell’Accademia will be the venue of the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world, where visitors may admire the 25 sheets by Leonardo, which belong to the Venetian museum, including the famous Vitruvian Man.

foto leonardo da vinci uomo vitruviano


We shall close with Vinci, Leonardo’s native town that cannot fail to celebrate the year dedicated to Leonardo.

We must mention the Museo Leonardiano (Castello dei Conti Guidi) with its permanent exhibition. Until 15 October 2019 it will be the venue of the exhibition “The Origins of Genius” presenting Leonardo’s first dated work, the Landscape, loaned by the Uffizi Gallery, and the genuine notary public’s log in which Leonardo’s birth was recorded, precisely 15 April 1452.

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