Leonardo 500 - Exhibitions and events not to be missed in Venice

What to do in Venice in the year of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death

From 17 April 2019 to 20 September 2019

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2019 is the year of Leonardo da Vinci or, rather, the year in which the five hundredth anniversary of his death occurs. To celebrate this special occasion, Italy and Europe have decided to pay homage to the Italian inventor with a long series of events aimed at rediscovering his multi-faceted talent, his works and the countless influences that his production had on subsequent generations.

Exhibitions and events on Leonardo da Vinci - 500 years since his death will obviously be held in Tuscany, his native land, but also in Milan, where he lived for 17 years creating, among other works, the famous Cenacle, in Rome, Turin... but Europe too wanted to make a contribution to celebrate ‘our’ Leonardo: France, the United Kingdom and Spain, in particular, have already announced numerous celebrations dedicated to him!

Among the countless events for Leonardo Da Vinci's anniversary in Italy, our attention is focusing in particular on those taking place in Venice, where two fascinating exhibitions complement the permanent exhibition hosted at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum.


Leonardo da Vinci - Events 2019 in Venice

  • The flagship event for Leonardo Da Vinci 500 years in Venice is the exhibition at the Gallerie dell’Accademia Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world, which will also show the famous Vitruvian Man, housed at the Gallerie dell’Accademia but usually not on show due to its extreme fragility. The exhibition will retrace the fundamental stages of the master's life in a highly evocative display, with over 70 works, including as many as 35 ‘autograph’ ones. You may not know that the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice house the most important public collection of Leonardo autograph works in Italy: 25 authentic drawings documenting the master's production from 1478 to 1519, including scientific studies and preparatory phases for some of his most famous works.
    The highlight is undoubtedly the famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man, with an entire dedicated section which illustrates the various aspects of the complex drawing and the matrices which led to the geometric construction and representation of man’s body, created by other artists before and after Leonardo. Together with the Vitruvian Man, this section displays other studies of the human body made by the artist around 1489-90, exceptionally lent by important international institutions.

'Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world’ at the Gallerie dell’Accademia

From 17 April to 14 July 2019
- Monday from 8.15 am to 2.00 pm (the ticket office closes at 1.00 pm)
- Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 am to 7.15 pm (the ticket office closes at 6.45 pm)

How to reach the Gallerie dell’Accademia - Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050 - 30123 Venice
From Piazzale Roma and Venice Santa Lucia railway station
- on foot about 20 minutes
- vaporetto stop 'Accademia' - line 1 or 2

  • A different kind of exhibition is on show at Palazzo Mocenigo, dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci's discoveries in the field of cosmetic, a decidedly little-known talent of the great master. Leonardo da Vinci, the perfumer analyzes the figure of the master as a cosmetologist and perfumer: here you will have the opportunity to discover beauty recipes, hairstyles, studies, recipes, fragrances and remedies invented by Leonardo to please the most beautiful ladies of his time ... At the court of Ludovico Sforza in Milan, for example, Leonardo invented fabrics, jewels, perfumes and clothes also covering the role of director of court parties, while in several of his paintings it is possible to admire the so-called 'Vinci knots', complex hairstyles enriched with jewels, nets and fabrics.

‘Leonardo da Vinci, the perfumer’ at Palazzo Mocenigo

From 3 May to 20 September 2019
- from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm (the ticket office closes at 4.30 pm)

How to reach Palazzo Mocenigo - Santa Croce 1992 - 30135 Venice
From Piazzale Roma and Venice Santa Lucia railway station
- on foot about 10 minutes
- vaporetto stop 'San Stae' - line 1

  • In addition to the Leonardo da Vinci 500 years exhibition, Venice also has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Tuscan inventor, the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. 4 interesting thematic sections - land, water, air and fire - will allow you to get in touch with Leonardo's life and inventions through the reproduction of over 60 machines designed by Leonardo and built on an original scale, many of which also work, with the chance to try them out! War, civil engineering, flying machines, the ‘Ideal City’ and the ‘Principles of physics’ are placed next to representations of his most famous paintings and anatomical studies. The tour also includes screenings on the life and artistic career of Leonardo, as well as a 3D virtual reality movie that illustrates how his war machines worked. The experimental and engaging format of the Leonardo Museum makes it an experience suitable for the whole family!

Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Venice

Open year round
- From 1 November to 31 March
from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm (the ticket office closes at 4.30 pm)
- From 1 April to 31 October
from 10.00 am to 6.30 pm (the ticket office closes at 5.30 pm)

How to reach the Leonardo da Vinci Museum - Campo San Rocco 3052 - 30125 Venice
From Piazzale Roma and Venice Santa Lucia railway station
- on foot about 10 minutes
- vaporetto stop 'San Tomà' - line 1 or 2

  • Turning our attention to the Venetian hinterland, Jesolo Lido will also offer its very personal tribute to Leonardo the artist: from 2 June to 15 September 2019, the 22nd edition of the sand sculpture festival will be in fact dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci!


Short biography

Inventor, artist, set designer, military engineer, anatomist, thinker, man of science, ... Leonardo embodies the Renaissance man perhaps better than anyone else. His desire to overcome limits, great curiosity and endless creativity have allowed him to reach very high levels of expression in countless fields of arts and knowledge.

Leonardo was born in Vinci, a splendid Tuscan village between Empoli and Pistoia, in April 1452. From a young age his natural predisposition to the arts and sciences emerged and he proved to be a keen observer of natural phenomena. After his first artistic experiences in Florence, where he attended Verrocchio's workshop and received his first commissions, including the Adoration of the Magi, which remained unfinished, he moved to Milan, to the court of Lodovico Sforza. Here he had the opportunity to apply himself to several areas, from painting - the Virgin of the Rocks in the two versions now present in London and Paris, the Lady with an Ermine and the Cenacle in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie - to hydraulic engineering - land reclamations in southern Lombardy - up to the design of buildings and the scenes of numerous court parties and the drafting of treaties. Towards the end of the 1400s he fled from Milan and, after two short stays in Mantua and Venice, he returned to Florence where he began painting the Battle of Anghiari – which he never finished due to his obsessive search for new artistic techniques - at Palazzo Vecchio. The Mona Lisa is also attributed to this period, a work as enigmatic as it is famous, as well as the Arno canalization project, the Codex on the Flight of Birds and anatomy studies. In 1502 he was also hired by Cesare Borgia as an architect and military engineer! A few years after his father's death in 1504, Leonardo moved back to Milan and Rome, before leaving for France in 1517, invited by the king of France Francesco I, a cultured and refined man and a great lover of Italian art. Here Leonardo spent perhaps the quietest period of his life: despite his old age, he devoted himself to social events, art, studies and projects.

He never left France: Leonardo died on May 2, 1519 in Amboise. There is no longer any trace of his remains due to the profanations that occurred during the religious wars between Catholics and Huguenots in the 16th century.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff