26 Nov 2013


A few weeks ago I visited  together with some friends of our painting group, the traveling exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci - The Genius. It took place in the Brussels Stock Exchange.

The building was erected from 1868 to 1873, and mixes elements of the Neo-Renaissance and Second Empire architectural styles. It has an abundance of ornaments and sculptures, created by famous artists, amongst them also Auguste Rodin. Today it's used for exhibitions.

Of Leonardo da Vinci I mostly knew that he was a painter and had painted the famous "Mona Lisa". But that he also  was an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician, architect, philosopher, ... but above all a man of genius, and a visionary, was quiet new to me. This man invented things centuries ago which today we are able to make and which we use. He was centuries in advance of his time. We could see

70 three-dimensional full size machines, reproductions of anatomical sketches drawn by Da Vinci,
the secrets of the Mona Lisa and identical replicas of artworks

Da Vinci was born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina. Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the home of his mother, then from 1457 on he lived with his father,  in the small town of Vinci. Amazing is to me,  that at this time the father took care of his illegitimate child and payed for his education.

He made anatomical designs, as if he had x-ray eyes !

What impressed me the most was the drawing of a baby in his mother's womb in a time where men didn't even know why their wife's belly became like a balloon !

I couldn't read his writings because they were in mirror-image and I had no mirror with me of course. It is said that the reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.

He thought already about being able to fly

measure the wind speed

using a submarine

invented flippers and a diving costume

There was a little mirror room which showed that you could see yourself from all sides

He even was a fashion designer !

and of course he painted the Mona Lisa. Apparently he painted mostly to earn some money which he then used for his researches.

You can read more about his life and creations here

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  1. This is something amazing! What a great opportunity for you.

  2. That would be a fabulous exhibition. I hope it comes here. He certainly was way ahead of his time with ideas and inventions.

  3. What a great exhibition!

  4. I saw a Da Vinci exhibition in London a couple of years ago. I would say it was the best exhibition I have ever seen. I knew what an amazing inventor he was as I had seen models of his designs in Rome but the surprise for me was his drawings. On every scrap of paper he could get hold of were the most brilliant of drawings.

  5. Great! And I didn't know about the part with the fashion designer ...

  6. An amazing genius, I like the dress he designed, looks as if it could be from the 1970's.
    I saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris many years ago and was surprised at how small the painting is. I was expecting it to be much larger.
    You are so lucky to see such an exhibition, I don't think it would ever come here.

  7. Very interesting. You may well want to see yourself from all angles. I do not want to see myself from any other angle than the mirror in front of me. That is bad enough.

  8. Such an educational post! Your pictures are amazing and I loved learning all of the facts about De Vinci. I had no idea he was such a visionary! Thanks so much for sharing, Gattina!

  9. Awesome exhibition, glad that you enjoy this moment and thanks for all these wonderful pictures!

  10. Great post!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River.

  11. I hope this exhibit comes somewhere near me in the U.S. Because you have made me REALLY want to see it!

  12. It sounds like a great exhibition Gattina.Everything about Leonardo always fascinates me. He really was very much ahead of his time!

  13. I knew he was an investor, but I didn't know the half of it. I would love to visit that museum

  14. What an opportunity for you to learn a little more about Leonardo da Vinci. He was also a sculptor.

  15. Wow, how amazing to get to see this... he was a genius! You look cute in that one pictuer.

  16. Hi Gattina .. that looks really interesting and I'm so pleased you were able to go. I've always been fascinated by Leonardo .. and my mother and I went to the Art and Science Museum in Milan - that has a wing dedicated to his works, drawings and ideas ..

    Quite extraordinary - but I'd have loved to have visited this one - looks so interesting ...

    Cheers Hilary


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