The Exhibition Project
Its location has an extraordinary symbolic significance as it is in the immediate proximity of S. Maria of the Angioli, paradigm of the Rotonda Brunelleschi, very admired by Leonardo, and a few steps away from the Academy that houses Michelangelo’s David.
Inside there are large working machines and interactive designs taken from the Leonardo da Vinci Code.
The actual possibility to interact with such machines allows the visitor an original perceptual experience having an extraordinary cognitive force.
The Museum enhances the figure of Leonardo da Vinci, Universal Genius, supreme engineer, and scientist of the Renaissance, and it exalts his mechanistic vision.
Visited during decades by many people, the museum receives every year many students from all over the world and the most accredited universities and training institutes.
In addition to the “Interactive Machines“, you will find interesting surprises: a summary of anatomical studies, verifying the principles of mechanics and physics that Leonardo represented in his writings, and moreover, you will have the opportunity to compare, in a single context and in the foreground, digital reproduction of his main pictorial works, reproduced through the adoption of the technique of high-definition backlight, an original and innovative solution.
It is always available to visitors an area dedicated to interactive workshops where you can try to build with your hands the Bridge and the self-supporting Dome and the construction of the most fascinating Polyhedrals designed by Leonardo da Vinci and the contents in the treatise by Luca Pacioli published in 1509 with the title “De Divina Proportione”, selecting among the 60 tables illustrated by Leonardo, the so mentioned the “Platonic Solids”.
You will find twenty beautiful 20 geographical tables designed by Leonardo da Vinci and published at the beginning of the last century by the “Reale Commissione Vinciana”.
It is an exceptional opportunity to discover the genius of Da Vinci in its qualities, as an extraordinary cartographer, for reasons of military strategy or for the needs of hydraulic arrangement, at the service of the greatest personalities of his time.
Why visit us?
In general terms, if we compare our offer with that of the other museums dedicated to Leonardo, Leonardo Interactive Museum® to date is the unique Museum where all the machines on display are really interactive.
You will find true interactivity, as well as digital media are available for machines whose functionality could be dangerous (as, for example, the Scythed Chariot) or impossible (as, for example, the Bicycle Ornithopter, suspended high above).
Even the large tank can be used manually, the only truly interactive prototype now!
THE HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The original idea was to build the machines and mechanisms drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in his famous manuscripts.
Important scholars and historians took part in the development of the founding project, among them the most important is Prof. Carlo Pedretti, one of Leonardo’s most respected scholars around the world, traces of his intervention are visible on the former official catalog of the Museum.
In these twenty years, the Leonardo Interactive Museum® has been visited by families, scientific personalities, university students from all over the world and simple visitors, obtaining great appreciation.
The museum belongs to the historical and cultural heritage of Florence.
The interactive prototypes on display were made by the most valiant expert italian craftsmen, true talents of the highest level.
In their realization, the use of the mechanics of the time was privileged, reconstructed one by one by hand, making each piece showed unique in the world, a rare paradigm of the highest italian artisanship professionalism, an increasingly rare resource.
The main exhibit content of the museum is made up of large interactive machines built after a careful study of the drawings contained in the Codes of Leonardo da Vinci.
Exclusively you can try for example the big Tank, the Hydraulic Saw, Archimedean Screw, Printing Machine, Vertical Ornithopter, Mechanical Drum, Air Screw and Paddle Boat and others.
You will discover how Leonardo’s thought is still very current and how many machines that he designed then found development, implementation, and concrete adoption in the most diverse sectors of human activity, from civil and hydraulic engineering to the sector of defense, mechanical, aeronautical, and naval components.
In the room of mechanical principles, the most important mechanisms showed and operable designed by Leonardo.
Starting from the drawings contained in the Madrid Codex I, preserved in the National Library of Madrid, we have built, and you can try the Flywheel (F.114v) intended as “rising wheel”, the Ball Bearing per Axle Vertical (F.101v), the Distribution Chain or Motion Transmission (F. 10r), the Endless Screw or the Cog Wheel (F. 17v), the Studies on Weights (F. 36v) and many others.
Studying the Codex Atlanticus, kept in Milan at the Library Ambrosiana, we have created, and you will be able to test the Hygrometer (F. 998r), the Rack Mechanism (F. 998r), the Mobile wall mounted carriage (F.391 v-a).
Several interactive mechanisms were created by studying the drawings contained in the Code Forster I (preserved, together with the Forster Codes II and III, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London) and in Manuscript H preserved in Paris at the Institute de France.
Therefore, by evaluating the mechanisms we expose you will be able to understand the vastness and depth of the engineering and physics studies conducted by Leonardo da Vinci and the extraordinary ability to be his ideas in formidable technical drawings.
In the Educational workshop, always in use and included in the entrance fee, you can build the Leonardo’s self-supporting Bridge, Leonardo’s Dome, the Stomachion and a fantasy composition of the Polyhedral illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci in the treatise “De Divina Proportione” published in the early 1500s in Venice, by mathematician friar Luca Pacioli.
The drawing by Leonardo da Vinci from which the homonymous self-supporting bridge was made (Bridge of Leonardo), one of the most brilliant inventions of the Master, contained in the Codex Atlanticus (sheet 69 a-r, 71v) and building it in our workshops you will have the opportunity to appreciate its modularity, simplicity, and stability.
Among its multiple pages of the Codex Atlanticus, we find a draft of a Self-supporting Dome, which makes up and stays united thanks to its weight and to the action of gravity.
The discovery of this dome in 1989, through a more in-depth interpretation of its design is due to the Dutch, Rinus Roelofs, a famous and talented mathematician and sculptor.
By weaving special wooden sticks of the same size with special “notches” you will build with your own hands and appreciate its modular characteristics and mechanical resistance, such as to make it also suitable for covering large spaces size.
In another area dedicated to Interactive Laboratories you can also build the Stomachion (also called Loculus Archimedius), a mathematical game described first by Archimedes, known mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer born in Syracuse (Sicily) in 288 bc.
The game is in our Museum as Leonardo da Vinci was the first to understand the scientific method underlying the studies of Platone and Archimedes, he admired intelligence and wished to explore and develop its sector of investigation.
Finally, we are sure that you will build some Platonic Solids, choosing them among the many drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in the famous treatise from 1500 by Luca Pacioli.