Monday, September 16, 2019


The idea of diving suits has been around for a long time. This is Leonardo's design.

Leonardo applied his artistic skills to anatomical study. Panels of his work, taken from dissections he did in secret, were found here in the exhibit.

Beyond that, Leonardo was even known for costume design.

And then there was a mirror room, another concept he mused on.

I stepped into it. The Council of Infinite Kendalls was in session.

Leonardo even turned his attention to music, designing a portable piano.

Turning back to his art, this panel examined the story of his painting, The Last Supper.

The painting itself was featured on a video display screen that analyzed it in depth.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Natural Ingenuity

This is constructed from Leonardo's designs. It is a crank operated cart. Leonardo's engineering instincts were put to work either improving an existing technology or creating something entirely new. 

His odometer is a variation based on a Roman device.

These are models of two cranes, the lateral winch crane and the crane on a cart. Both were Leonardo's takes on existing technologies being used in construction at the time.

Another one of Leonardo's designs took an existing form of crane and improved on it. This is the annular platform crane in model scale.

One of his concepts on paper was a pyramidical parachute. It has been tested in the current day and shown to be sound. Leonardo's quote on the wall rings true.

Here we have the ancestor of the current day helicopter, the aerial screw, a concept designed by Leonardo that probably never could have flown.

Several of the reproductions were things you could get your hands on and try out. This is a hammer, driven by an eccentric cam, according to the display. Leonardo developed the concept to help blacksmiths in their work; the machine drives the hammer down with full force on the anvil.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Art And Inventions

Two paintings by Leonardo share the same name and thematic elements. Virgin Of The Rocks is sometimes called Madonna Of The Rocks. The primary one, the first of the two to be done, is seen here at left, with the original at the Louvre. The second, at right, resides at the National Gallery in London.

Portrait Of A Musician is in Milan.

Here we have something of a story. La Bella Principessa may or may not be a Leonardo- though the presence of fingerprints by Leonardo give weight to the possibility.

The Benois Madonna, also called Madonna And Child With Flowers, is at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. At right is La Bella Ferronniere (Portrait Of An Unknown Woman), which is at the Louvre.

Ginevre de'Benci can be found today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington- the only Leonardo on public display in the Americas. It was acquired in 1967 after a deal fell through here in Canada- a change in governments in the 1950s scuttled an arrangement to bring it to our National Gallery.

The Annunciation is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Returning to technology created by the genius. Leonardo created a self propelled car for a theatrical production in Milan. It is thought to be a forerunner of cars we have today. A contemporary reproduction of it was here.

Aside from art, invention, science, and philosophy, Leonardo was an architect. He designed blueprints for a multilayered city as a way of improving the health in a city.

For today I finish off with another of his devices, rendered in full scale from his designs. This is a pole erecting machine.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Vitruvian Man

At some point we've all seen the self portrait of Leonardo done late in life. It is rarely displayed, with issues that conservators in Turin are grappling with to save the work. Those issues are examined in this panel. A copy accompanies it.

And then there's The Vitruvian Man. Its original is at the Gallerie dell'Academia in Venice.

This is St. John The Baptist. The original is in the Louvre.

Numerous contemporary reproductions based on Leonardo's designs or creations were found here. That includes this bicycle- not created from the mind of the genius, but thought to be a hoax. 

This device, however, was a genuine Leonardo creation. He devised a horizontal drill to bore holes in trees for the purpose of making wooden water pipes.

The Virgin and Child With St. Anne and John The Baptist resides today at the National Gallery in London.

Madonna Litta is at left, a disputed attribution to Leonardo that resides in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. At right is Madonna Of The Carnation, which is in Munich.

I liked this quote on the wall.

The original resides in a gallery in Krakow. This is Lady With An Ermine.

St. Jerome In The Wilderness is an unfinished work that now resides in the Vatican Museums. We carry on from here tomorrow.