When we say Leonardo da Vinci, we obviously mean “Mona Lisa” or more broadly a painter of genius, even genius at all. More rarely we mention the Leonardo inventor of crazy and visionary machines, and even more rarely the mechanic / mathematician whose inventions or projects really had a practical purpose, in a wide variety of fields. The exhibition offered by the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is an introduction to this engineer Leonardo. Enjoy it, it's until August 18, 2013.
Models of Leonardo da Vinci's projects
The exhibition revolves mainly around the forty models produced in 1953 from the famous Leonardo da Vinci notebooks. Most of the pieces presented have therefore not seen the light of day and are interpretations of the engineer's plans, but the most important thing is that the Florentine genius had designed them to be used, and this in many areas, which constitute the parts of the exhibition.The first, "transforming the movement", shows how Leonardo da Vinci (and some of his contemporaries) intended to improve construction techniques, for example with cranes that have nothing to envy to those of today. Then comes an area where Leonardo excelled, war. The historian Pascal Brioist has just published a book on the question, which we recommend ("Leonardo da Vinci, man of war", Alma editions). Fans of the game "Assassin's Creed" will recognize in this room, for example, the tank imagined by Leonardo. Then comes the way in which the genius was inspired by nature, by numerous observations transcribed in his notebooks so difficult to decipher. Logically, the exhibition focuses on Leonardo's crazy projects to make man fly, models still revealing the visionary character of the work of the author of La Joconde.
The exhibition ends with two parts showing that Leonardo, despite his dreams, remained anchored in reality. He thus imagined techniques to "improve manufacturing" (especially weaving looms), always with the aim of "unifying knowledge", artist and total genius like some of his contemporaries, also gifted. for painting and sculpture than for mathematics, engineering or architecture.
A very “City of Sciences” exhibition
Such a subject was just right for the Cité des Sciences and the original way in which it constructs its exhibitions, including historical ones (we have recently seen this with the great success of “Gaulois: une expo époante”). Despite a fairly small size, it therefore keeps its promises, with simple and precise explanations, including video, a clear presentation and especially many interactive games, to take a few minutes for Leonardo da Vinci.
A good exhibition for the holidays with the children.
- Leonardo DeVinci. Projects, drawings, machines, at Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Parc de la Villette (Paris). All the info on the site.