Milan and Leonardo’s Quincentenary

So, Milan is pulling out all the stops to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s quincentenary, which falls on May 2. A year-long celebration in honor of the ultimate Renaissance man is already underway…Here’s a peek at some of the happenings!

  • Now through June 30: “The Last Supper after Leonardo” at Fondazione Stelline takes a look at how Leonardo influenced subsequent generations via the works of six contemporary artists, including Anish Kapoor and Nicola Samorì.
  • Now through July 7: “The Wonderful World of Nature” at Palazzo Reale examines how Leonardo depicted 16th-century Lombard nature by incorporating objects from the Natural History Museum.
  • May 16 – January 12: The restored Sala delle Asse Sala delle Asse at Sforza Castle, home to Leonardo’s nature murals, will be open to the public.
  • May 16 – January 12: “Leonardo’s Milan”, a multi-media exhibit at Sforza Castle, will depict how Milan looked from 1482 to 1512.
  • May to November: Leonardo’s Horse is an incomplete work. Artist Nina Akamu realized Leonardo’s vision via his sketches, and her sculpture has stood at the Hippodrome of San Siro since 1999. In honor of the anniversary, SNAITECH has selected artists, designers and illustrators to produce their own riffs on the work, which will be on display alongside Akamu’s.
  • July 19 – October 13: “Leonardo da Vinci Parade” at Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum – Curated and organized in collaboration with the Pinacoteca di Brera, the exhibit examines how Leonardo influenced 16th-century Lombard painters.

In addition to the Last Supper, Milan is also home to Leonardo’s Vineyard at the exquisite Casa degli Atellani, the Codex Atlanticus, Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum and artworks from his former students, such as the enchanting floor-to-ceiling frescoes at San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. Nicknamed Milan’s Sistine Chapel, the church was painted mostly by Bernardino Luini (the artist to whom scholars have been attributing “Salvator Mundi“).

Also on the Leonardo front, a new air filtration system was inaugurated at Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Leonardo’s “The Last Supper”, this past fall. Not only will it extend the life of the deteriorating mural by another 500 years, but it will eventually allow for more visitors, with the aim of a 33% increase over four years. The hottest ticket in town, the Last Supper is seen by just 430,000 people per year as tickets for one of the 15-minute time slots sell out months in advance.

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