ONCE UPON A TIME: THE MILAN OF LEONARDO

Thu, 21 November 2019
ONCE UPON A TIME: THE MILAN OF LEONARDO
500 years after the death of the great genius of the Italian Renaissance, Milan hosted events and exhibitions to commemorate its special relationship with Leonardo. The bond between the famous Leonardo da Vinci, undisputed genius of the Renaissance, and the city of Milan, already a flourishing cult..

500 years after the death of the great genius of the Italian Renaissance, Milan hosted events and exhibitions to commemorate its special relationship with Leonardo.

The bond between the famous Leonardo da Vinci, undisputed genius of the Renaissance, and the city of Milan, already a flourishing cultural and economic center at the time of the Sforza, is a bond that lasted about twenty years.

It was Ludovico il Moro who called to court this creative and eclectic artist, who came to the city in 1482 to offer his skills to the service of the patron family. And the traces that Leonardo left in Milan are many, from the navigation system of the Lombard Navigli to the Cenacle in the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, from the Portrait of Musician to the Codex Atlanticus, preserved in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Not to mention the halls of the Castello Sforzesco and the huge bronze horse project, which the master was unable to complete in sixteen years of work.

It is possible to imagine a real itinerary that retraces the steps of Leonardo's presence in the city and, believe me, it is not at all easy to choose where to start ...

Absolutely not to be missed is the masterpiece of the Last Supper, an extraordinary painting that was made on the wall of the dining room of the ancient Dominican convent attached to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. For this work Leonardo abandoned the traditional method of fresco painting and depicted the scene on the "dry" wall, which is why the work deteriorates easily and visitors' access is limited. In front of this imposing painting, deep emotions are unleashed, even centuries later.

Another of the symbolic places of Leonardo's Milan is certainly the Castello Sforzesco, inside which is the Sala delle Asse, the most illustrious environment of the whole palace: intertwining branches, ribbons, fruits and roots are the wonderful decorations that reveal all the wisdom of Leonardo as a scientific painter.

If then you happen to pass in Piazza della Scala, look up at the solemn white marble statue that celebrates the great master, depicted with that austere aspect that befits precisely the men of science.

But my favorite Leonardian place is the so-called "Leonardo's Vineyard", a veritable vineyard of 16 perches that the duke gave to the artist as a tribute to his admirable Milanese works. Even today this extraordinary cultivation is located in the heart of the city, inside the courtyard of the Casa degli Atellani and it is possible to admire it by way of a guided tour. The vine has been identified: it is Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, one of the oldest, of Greek origin, widely used in the sixteenth century.

And if you think that the cultivation of the vineyard is not serious stuff, it is good to remember that it was Leonardo himself who said that "a lot of happiness is given to men who are born where good wines are found". I'd say we should trust that.

www.vignadileonardo.com
www.cenacolo.it
www.milanocastello.it

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