To Dream, to Collect

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2019 was the year that marked Leonardo Da Vinci’s death anniversary. The Renaissance genius in fact passed away on May 2nd of 1519. This anniversary was so important worldwide that Kooness couldn’t close its magazine year without writing something about it. 

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Leonardo da Vinci, Notes, Machines. 

 

Painting, sculpture, drawing, literature, engineering, ballistics, science, physics, landscape studies, geography, anatomy, medicine, urban planning … these are just some of the topics that Leonardo da Vinci treated during his life. Since he was a boy, Leonardo had a tormented connection to the world. In one of his copious notes, he wrote that his dialogue towards the world was “long and anguished”, and that he has always been a curious boy. Leonardo was in fact an attentive observer of everything was around him. But, for Leonardo, to be an observer wasn’t enough. He needed to have an active role in culture and society.   

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Leonardo was born near Florence in 1452. The city was culturally the most vivid and active of all Europe: Florence as the “cradle of Renaissance”, as many as said and wrote. This young, inquiring boy had training at Verrocchio’s atelier where he learned artistic techniques and good use of plastic materials. Since the beginning, Leonardo focused himself on the use of his hands and brain: those elements – “the head, the hand” – that we could see inside his Code together with beautiful drawings. Leonardo’s Codes are those rare, precious and meticulous notes and sketches that the artist used to do, always.

 

Leonardo Da Vinci, Last Supper, 1494-1498, Santa Maria Delle Grazie, Milan, Itlay. 

 

Leonardo da Vinci, Studies of Turbulent Water, The Royal Collection.

 

This peculiar character was extraordinary for many reasons, as the list above can actually witnesses, and also because Leonardo has always been moved on two different sides: the one of his practice, of the making of things, and the other, more poetical, concerning his studies. Many of his ideas and researches, almost all of them, did not reach success, there was often something wrong, some details that did not work out. This happened in his paintings, in his monumental ideas or experimentations on the flight or some tools for the wars. But, long after his death, almost all of these projects were studied and successfully reactivate. Today we are still using some of Leonardo’s machineries and invention. So Leonardo did investigate any fields: from the artistic one that he absorbed in Florence, to the one he learned at Ludovico il Moro’s court in Milan, where he realized ballistics studies for the Castello Sforzesco wall defence, until researches about urban planning, cities, animals, seas until the Moon observation. He went from the earth to the moon.  

Cover image: Leonardo Da Vinci portrait.


Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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