Self-Portrait, Leonardo da Vinci: "Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to Authority is not using his intelligence, he is just using his memory."
Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design opens today at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition continues through 7 June, 2007. Tickets are available by telephone at 44(0)870.906.3883 or online.
The exhibition focuses on Leonardo da Vinci's most complex and challenging designs on paper.
Behind the diversity are a series of unifying themes in Leonardo’s vision of how the world works. The dominant theme is the mathematical operation of nature's powers. Leonardo believed that every part of nature mirrors the action of the whole, with the human body of a “lesser world” – lesser in scale, but not in wonder and complexity. Leonardo saw that everything is related to everything else.
The exibition is divided into four areas:
The Mind’s Eye - For Leonardo, sight was the noblest and most certain sense. It provided access to “experience," which indicates how nature works, according to mathematical rules. Leonardo considered knowledge that could not be certified by the eye was unreliable.
The Lesser And Greater Worlds - The ancient theory of the microcosm and the macrocosm suggested the human body contained in miniature all the operations of the world and universe as a whole.
Making Things - Leonardo performed many roles and undertook several tasks for his court patrons. While he performed such duties with enthusiasm, they took him away from making paintings and sculpture, upon which he pinned his hopes for fame.
Force - Leonardo’s dynamic vision of the natural world was that force was necessary for anything to move. Motion gave life to all things, but also exercised a potential for destruction.