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

A great exhibition displays the Vitruvian Man and other masterpieces!

From 17 April 2019 to 14 July 2019

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Among the numerous events running throughout Italy to celebrate five hundred years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci (1519-2019), the upcoming Vitruvian man display in Venice deserves special mention: ‘Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world’ will be displayed at the Gallerie dell’Accademia from 17 April through to 14 July 2019!

Through drawing models, created by the artist himself or by his students and protegees, the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Venice will retrace the fundamental stages of the master's life, starting from the two Studies for an Adoration of the Shepherds, made during his younger years, up to the Three dancing figures, related instead to his time in France. 'Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world’ is a highly evocative exhibition, with over seventy works on show, including as many as thirty-five signed by Leonardo, in which the famous Vetruvian Man – included in the main collection of the Gallerie dell'Accademia, but very rarely on public display due to the extremely fragile nature of this artwork – emerges as the undisputed protagonist.

The Venetian Drawings

The Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice house the most relevant public collection in Italy of Leonardo's pictures. These are twenty-five autographed drawings that offer a fascinating overview of the master's production from 1478 to 1519, documenting his scientific research - with studies of the proportion of the human body, botany, optics, physics, mechanics, weapons - and the preparatory phases for several paintings, such as the lost Nativity at the Cenacle, Christ carrying His cross, the Battle of Anghiari and the Virgin and Child with St. Anne, throughout his life, until his last productions in France.

The highlight of this important Venice Leonardo da Vinci exhibition is certainly the Vitruvian Man, a famous study of human proportions that has become a symbol of classical perfection of body and mind due to the superb juxtaposition of art and science. Considering its importance, the display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia (Venice) of the Vitrivian Man takes place in a dedicated section of Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit in Venice, Italy, in which the various aspects of the complex design will be illustrated - proportional canons, golden ratio, micro and macrocosm, writing, executive technique - in addition to the Euclidean, Vitruvian and Albertian matrices created by other artists before and after Leonardo, which led to the geometric construction and representation of man’s body. The Vitruvian Man is exhibited together with other studies of proportions and anatomy of the human body made by the artist around 1489-90, exceptionally lent by the Royal Library of Windsor Castle, and several pages of the Huygens code, on loan from The Morgan Library & Museum of New York. The Huygens code is a Renaissance manuscript, attributed to Carlo Urbino da Crema, which contains reproductions of Leonardo's studies on the movement of bodies: its importance is given by the fact that the author was very familiar with Leonardo's since lost originals and presumably with the Vitruvian Man itself.
In addition to the collection owned at present by the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Venice presents other drawings made in the same period, including several paintings and other lost works by Leonardo. They are all documented by the historical sources of Leonardo's thinking, such as original drawings and printed volumes.

The exhibition also offers an in-depth look at Leonardo's time in Venice in the early months of the 1500s and an interesting reinterpretation of the master's artistic and scientific production in Venice in view of the most recent studies.

Between Dürer and Pacioli

The encounter between Dürer and Leonardo Da Vinci, which took place in Venice, led to a mutual and valuable exchange of influences, also on a theoretical level. For this reason, Book Two of The symmetry of the Human Body, various engravings and some drawings by the German artist will also be on display at the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
Attention will also be given to the relationships with the powerful Grimani family and the role of Ermolao Barbaro, a humanist and Venetian ambassador to the Sforza court, in Leonardo's involvement in Venetian society together with Luca Pacioli.

Another study will focus on sources and links to Leonardo's studies of proportions and anatomy through the display of ancient editions of Vitruvius’s De architectura, Luca Pacioli’s Divina proportione, Euclid’s Preclarissimus liber elementorum and De Humani corporis Fabrica by Andrea Vesalio.

In addition to the aforementioned Royal Library of Windsor Castle and The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, the exhibition has important works on loan from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the National Gallery in Washington and Kunsthalle in Hamburg, not forgetting the famous Madonna Litta hailing from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.


From 17 April to 14 July there is now one more reason to visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice! 'Leonardo da Vinci. Man is the model of the world’, an extraordinary exhibition to learn about the work of the Tuscan master and his most famous masterpiece, the Vitruvian Man.

The exhibition is included in the admission ticket to the Gallerie dell'Accademia.


Vitruvian Man on display 2019 at the Gallerie dell’Accademia

  • Monday 8.15 to 14.00 (ticket office open until 13.00)
  • Tuesday to Sunday 8.15 am to 19.15 (ticket office open until 18.45)

Closed: 1 May

How to reach the Gallerie dell’Accademia

Address: Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050 - 30123 Venice
The Gallerie are located in front of the Accademia bridge, along the Grand Canal.

From Piazzale Roma and Venice Santa Lucia railway station

  • On foot about 20 minutes
  • Water bus stop "Accademia" - lines 1 or 2
By Insidecom Editorial Staff