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Leonardo da Vinci’s machines and their rediscovery in the modern era: the birth of the myth



Leonardo da Vinci’s machines  and their rediscovery in the  modern era: the birth of the myth

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death the Scientific Office of the Embassy of Italy in the UK and the Italian Cultural Institute in London in collaboration with AISUK present the second event in the series "Science for Society".

Leonardo left us more than 6000 pages of notes and drawings, most of them dedicated to the science or technology. His works on paper had some impact in their day, but remain personal notes that were substantially unknown until the 19th century, and as a group they became a cultural phenomenon during the 20th century. This popularity was especially after the first facsimile reproduction of Leonardo’s technical studies in the late 19th century, and developed with the first exhibition to contain numerous reconstructions of his designs for machines in 1939.
After this exhibition in Florence, dedicated to the history of science, for which some mechanical flying devices where built, and especially after 1939, a kind of myth of Leonardo formed with the help of travelling, commercial exhibitions around the world: the idea of Leonardo as a precursor of modern science and technology.


Andrea Bernardoni – Museo Galileo, Firenze
Dr Andrea Bernardoni is researcher and member of curatorial staff at the Institute of the History of Science in Florence (Museo Galileo). From 2008 to 2012 Research Fellow in History of Science at University of Bergamo. In 2013 founded the international group of studies Artes Mechanicae, for the studies of "mechanical philology": reconstruction (3d and physical modeling) and historical contextualization of ancient machines and technical process ( Since 2016 is a member of the scientific committee of Leonardotechk@ a platform for integrated consultation of Leonardo's manuscripts and relative literary criticism, developed in the Museo Galileo. He has been the author of many History of Science publication and the curator of sections in several important Leonardo Exhibitions since 2006.

Matthew Landrus – University of Oxford
Dr Matthew Landrus is Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College and the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford. He has published books and dozens of essays on Leonardo da Vinci, including Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years on (Andre Deutsch, 2018), Strumenti e meccanismi. Leonardo e l’art dell’ingegneria. Disegni di Leonardo dal Codice Atlantico (DeAgostini 2013), Leonardo da Vinci’s Giant Crossbow (Springer 2010), Le armi e le macchine da guerra: il De re militari di Leonardo (DeAgostini 2010), and The Treasures of Leonardo (Carlton 2006).




Data: Mer 27 Nov 2019

Orario: Dalle 18:30 alle 20:00

Organizzato da : Embassy of Italy in UK, ICI London

In collaborazione con : AISUK

Ingresso : Libero


ICI London