FLORENCE, Italy – The Uffizi Gallery in Florence launched on Monday a rare exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings and drawings by the Renaissance genius on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his death.
The Uffizi Gallery, one of the largest museums in Italy but also one of the best known worldwide for its enormous Renaissance art collection, is set to showcase “The Water as Microscope of Nature. Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester,” an exhibition that focuses on water, an element that fascinated Da Vinci.
“The Codex Leicester is the product of Leonardo as a mature and extremely sophisticated artist, being an exact observer of nature, an engineer capable of approaching audacious projects and an original interpreter of the most significant phenomena both in the microcosm and in the macrocosm,” Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museo Galileo in Florence and director of the exhibition, said in a statement.
“The exhibition invites visitors to travel back to a time of great visions, of futuristic projects and of the efforts of a unique genius,” Galluzzi added.
The Uffizi Gallery has used an innovative and playful way to exhibit the manuscript using what they call the “Codescope,” a multimedia tool that would give punters the opportunity to flick through the codex digitally and immerse themselves in Da Vinci’s psyche.
The codex was handwritten by Leonardo between 1504-1508, is 72 sheets long and contains notes and sketches on water.
Bill Gates loaned the codex to the Ufizzi after he purchased the manuscript at a Christie’s auction in 1994 for $30 million, the highest price ever paid for a book, and has since digitized the document.
The codex was named after Thomas Coke who later became the Earl of Leicester and purchased the scientific manuscript in 1719.
The exhibition coincides with the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci’s death on May 2, 1519 and was one of many events and exhibitions set to honor the brilliant Renaissance mind in the forthcoming year.
“The Water as Microscope of Nature. Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester” was set to be exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery from Oct. 29-Jan. 20.