If you’ve ever wondered what’s inside Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, you’ve got six years to take a look.
Milan, where the original Renaissance man worked for years, has brought the largest collection of his drawings and writings, the 1,000-plus-page Codex Atlanticus, to the masses. The Codex is normally housed in the city’s Biblioteca Ambrosiana, where it is off-limits even to most scholars. But until 2015, visitors can view a rotating exhibition of selected pages from the real da Vinci code, grouped into themes including mechanical flight, anatomy and war machines.
Among the pages, dating from 1478 to 1519, visitors will find engineering designs, recipes, doodles from apprentices, as well as sketches for da Vinci’s many ahead-of-his-time contraptions. Da Vinci, who reportedly made sketches of his observations on loose sheets or on tiny pads he kept in his belt, left behind the largest literary legacy of any painter.
“It can be a little embarrassing, when people only expect to see finished drawings or amazingly detailed sketches,” said da Vinci expert Pietro C. Marani, curator of the first three-month exhibit, “Fortresses, Bastions and Cannons.”
“What you’re really looking at is a cross-section of art, science, technology, mechanical studies – all woven into the daily life of an amazing figure, but it’s not always what you might expect,” he said.
Full story on the Wall Street Journal Europe
Codex Atlanticus Exhibit Info:
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday
8:30 am â€“ 7:00 pm
Price: â‚¬21.50 for both halves of the exhibit, includes reservation.
Online tickets and reservations: www.ambrosiana.it