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Original sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci are being put up on display for the first time in the US

The sketches are a part of the painter's notebook and 12 pages of it are now on display in Washington D.C.

Original sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci are being put up on display for the first time in the US
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | CARLOSCRUZ ARTEGRAFIA

To all art lovers, this time, Leonardo da Vinci's sketches are being exhibited at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. It is the debut of his sketches and they include a "digging machine, mechanical wings and a self-propelling cart." Moreover, these sketches are a part of Vinci's notebook and 12 pages are now on display in the U.S. for the first time, reports Smithsonian Magazine.


Titled "Imagining the Future - Leonardo da Vinci: In the Mind of an Italian Genius," it's a free exhibition that discusses the artist's imagination and scientific intellect. "He was really an engineer first and he fancied himself a painter secondarily, so these drawings really, I think, stress his obsession with motion, with machines," Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the D.C. public library system's executive director, told NBC 4's Derrick Ward and Andrea Swalec.


The sketches are a small part of 1,000 pages of the "Codex Atlanticus," the painter's 12-volume collection of notebooks and the credit for its compilation goes to the 16th-century sculptor Pompeo Leoni. It was created between 1478 to 1519 and the sketches and writings cover everything from weaponry to botany.

"It's not just beauty for beauty, but it's beauty applied to life," says Alberto Rocca, director of the art gallery of Milan's Biblioteca Ambrosiana. The art gallery houses the "Codex Atlanticus." One of the hosts of the event, Michel Martin, told NPR, "The collection was brought across the Atlantic by the General Confederation of Italian Industry. They open their D.C. office today as part of a project to broaden the appeal of Italian industry. The group's president, Carlo Bonomi, says da Vinci is his country's finest ambassador."


This show only welcomes 15 people at a time, so guests might have to wait a bit before they can see the sketches. Besides, guests have to sign up at the front desk, then wait for a text as their turn comes. The library also has something special for the kids on another floor. It has "Leonardo's Lab," which involves da Vinci's hands-on projects

Reyes Gavilian had his own apprehensions about the exhibit, "But frankly, it didn't take a long time for me to get really excited about the possibility of introducing Leonardo to an audience that may never see him in a museum setting," he says. "And they may never, regardless of whether they go to museums or not, see something like this ever again."


The pages of Atlanticus can only be exposed to limited sunlight as they are old and fragile. For this reason, the exhibition would only go on for 2 months. Hereafter, the pages will be kept in the dark for three years, as per Chelsea Cirruzzo for Axios. Reyes-Gavilian also said that seeing da Vinci's notebooks in the U.S. is a rare experience.

"Many people consider Leonardo da Vinci not only one of the greatest minds of our history but the [greatest]. Most of his work is in these notebooks," he says. "It's not the sort of thing that you can just sort of stumble upon if you're visiting New York or Chicago or somewhere else. It's here for a precious short amount of time, and you'll probably never see them again."

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