Five sculptures were drawn with the traditional wax technique from Leonardo’s anatomical drawings. The exhibition is completed by the wooden model of Guido’s wind-propelled cart, designed as a war machine but which can also be considered the first auto-mobile in history.
The exhibition, curated by Paola Salvi, made possible by the city of Vigevano (owner of the exhibition itself), with the patronage of the Lombardy Region, the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, the University of Pavia, supported by the National Committee for the celebrations 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci’s death and organized with the OverArt Association, closes the program of exhibitions proposed by the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana to enhance its heritage of Leonardo’s works, among the most important in the world.
It presents the reproduction of the 18 figures (in 16 plates) of the Anothomia treatise designated for figuras (1345) by Guido da Vigevano, alongside a series of reproductions of anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, made between 1480 and 1517 approximately. From some of these drawings, which belong to Leonardo’s vast anatomical repertoire, preserved in the collections of Queen Elizabeth II of England in Windsor Castle, five sculptures have been obtained, conceived by Paola Salvi and made by Moreno Vezzoli, with the traditional technique of waxwork.
“We wanted to focus on artistic beauty – says Paola Salvi – since Leonardo practiced the dissection to know the inside of the human body, presumably with the assistance of a “surgeon”, as was customary at the time, but with the intent to overcome it by bringing the knowledge acquired back to the life of the body in action”.
“His drawings – continues Paola Salvi – follow the anatomical fidelity of the living body, exceed in graphic refinement every “macabre” aspect and testify not only to the reality of the anatomical representation, but also the theories of his time, the same theories that Leonardo visualizes where experience does not allow him to verify and possibly refuse them”.
The exhibition itinerary is enhanced, thanks to the collaboration with Carlo E. Rottenbacher, professor of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Information Researcher at the Department of Structural Mechanics of the University of Pavia, with the reconstruction in scale of Guido da Vigevano’s “wind-propelled cart”, a wooden model deriving from the drawing reatured in the Texaurus Regis Francie (1335), a manuscript which presents remarkable mechanical and visualization solutions for its time.