This application consists of a surprising "virtual museum" providing a body of information on Leonardo, and thus on the Renaissance, related to his homeland, Tuscany, which not only includes the very few "excellent" localities that are traditionally mentioned, but identifies over 400 places, at least 60 of which are examined in detail.
Knowledge of Leonardo is more than ever fascinating when combined with the idea of rediscovery in a voyage unfolding through cities and countryside among museums, churches, palaces, libraries and archives. This tour of Leonardo’s territory is paralleled by exploration of his works, including a search for those that have been dispersed and for their echoes in the work of his contemporaries and followers (the Leonardesque artists). In this journey, documents related to his biography and the sources of his knowledge have been utilised, bringing back to light the places where Leonardo lived and worked, and that he described, as well as the changes he planned to make in them to "escape ruin" or to "create beauty".
This is the territory that inspired Leonardo with ideas that he, the artist of science, immortalised, the land of the big and little towns he drew on his maps, of the natural phenomena and the ingenious works he studied with his penetrating gaze, characteristic of his incomparable experience as universal painter and very human genius.
The Leonardian itineraries, topographically organised on the basis of an historic-artistic and scientific survey, serve as key to the spatial-temporal dimensions of memory, research and rediscovery, confronting the evidence of the documents and works with the myths and legends.
The persisting influence and heritage of Leonardo through five centuries are traced starting from his representations of hundreds of cities and strongholds, routes and bridges, rivers and marshes, valleys and mountains, landscapes and symbols of nature and artifice, in a voyage through utopias and inventions. All of these evocative elements are employed as introduction to the itineraries in the various parts of "Leonardo’s Tuscany".
Through the paintings and manuscripts, the drawings and projects of Leonardo, extraordinary details are bought out, and the multifaceted tesserae of an overall view, made up of arts and sciences, historic events and geographies of memory, are recomposed. The result is a fantastic conceptual and iconographic mosaic of Tuscany and the Renaissance, rich in significance for our contemporary culture, for knowledge of the territory through the centuries, and for aesthetically experiencing the ancient abiding in the present.
Texts by Alessandro Vezzosi
English translation by Catherine Frost
Last update 26/feb/2008