Saturday, June 13, 2009

Leonardo Da Vinci - a legacy of greatness

On Thursday, we paid a visit to the Da Vinci exhibition now on at the Singapore Science Centre. This is an international travelling exhibition that celebrates the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci.

What's totally amazing about this guy is that he seemed to be extraordinarily gifted in so many fields. Here's a quick summary of his achievements in the various fields:
  1. Artist: Most people know him for the uber famous Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The exhibition has a large area dedicated to the Mona Lisa, which thanks to French Engineer Pascal Cotte, you can now see a close-to-perfect reproduction of the painting in actual size. And you get to see it up close which is better than seeing the original at the Louvre in Paris cos that's behind thick glass and in a cordoned off area. Plus you have to fight off the throngs of people jostling for a closer look.

  2. Scientist: Da Vinci believed that science was the basis for everything, including art. His notes showed that he was fascinated with just about anything from flight to walking on water, from making pulleys to lift loads and ball bearings to reduce friction.

  3. Engineer and Inventor: Da Vinci was way ahead of his time. He conceived items that would become reality only centuries later, such as the helicopter, parachute, bridge, camera, submarine, even the robot! All painstakingly jotted down in notebooks.

  4. Strategist: Even though he was a pacifist, he was sought after as a military strategist and created many instruments that were used for war, such as the tank, the steam cannon, the bullet and moveable bridge.

  5. 5. Biologist: In a day where dissecting human corpses was disallowed, he managed to dissect some 30 bodies and come up with fantastically accurate, intricate drawings of the human body, from the skeleton and muscle to internal organs. The form and style of his drawings would eventually be followed in the medical bible, Grey's Anatomy. His famous drawing, The Vitruvian Man (featured in the banner above), is a study of the perfect proportions of the human body.
If that's not enough, he was also an architect, adept musician, sculptor, philosopher... phew! Forget the sensational rubbish of the Da Vinci Code, this man is the real deal.

I highly recommend visiting the exhibition. It's not very big but it's eye-opening and educational. The exhibition is on until 16 August. Tickets go for $16 (adult) and $11 (child under 16) but there's a family package of $45 for 2 adults + 2 children.

That night when Andre was saying his prayers, he said "Thank you God for a good day today. We went to see the Da Vinci exhibition. I learned a lot about Da Vinci... even though I don't know him." Sounds like it made an impression!


bACk in GERMANY said...

Wow... after your post, there'll be a stampede over at Science Centre! ;)

Yes, we wanna go too... probably after the June hols crowd though.

Lilian said...

Aisay, why didn't wait for me to go together??...Eddie says there's a Math-related exhibition at Science Centre, is this the one?

Alcovelet said...

Thanks for highlighting this, Monica. We've been wanting to go, but haven't had time. I heard there's some award winning IMAX show too - absolutely can't wait!

monlim said...

Yes, wait till after the June hols and go on a weekday, probably less crowded then.

There's also a Van Gogh IMAX movie on, we didn't catch it but should be good!

Lilian: probably this is the one. Sorry lah, couldn't wait for you, after the school hols, our schedules will be crazy! I think this must be the exhibition Eddie was referring to. Do go, I'm sure the boys will love it.

Veronica_L said...

There weren't many crowds when I went on Sunday. I think it should be ok. You should go during the hols, because I think after the hols there will be a quite a few schools taking their students there for excursions. I throughly enjoyed the exhibition too. Did you catch the free complete guided tour?

monlim said...

Didn't catch the guided tour, but thought some of the videos were truly fascinating! There was a school group the day we went too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mon, we went and it was an interesting find, especially the vitruvian man. I know the famous picture for the longest time but never put a thought to it, now I know it is so mathematical! LOL.

By having undivided attention at the exhibition, I could finally infer why Mona Lisa looked so weird and different(to become so world famous) and understood why she was considered incomplete. :D

The other hilarious outcome was this morning my kid was still sleeping(eyes still closed) on the bed with hands on her tummy laughing so loudly. I woke her and asked her what happened...and she opened her eyes and told me she dreamt of Leonardo da vinci and her art teacher. I asked her how Leonardo look and she said his head was full of gray hair. Here was the hilarious part....She was so amused because she saw Leonardi pasting a piece of "shit" on her art teacher's door and her art teacher was so indignant instead of so pleased in seeing Leonardo...that was why she was laughing so loudly in her dream!!

Well....I can only say that thanks to Leonardo, I get to see someone laughing so hard in her sleep for the first time. :D


monlim said...

QX: well, looks like the exhibition made a big impression on your dd too! Glad you both enjoyed it :)

Anonymous said... dd is just so warped in her ways....brought her to see a genius and she could only associate him with "shit"....I quietly wished it was her naiveness in her dreams in not recognising that it was the muddy clay L.D.V used for his sculpturing... LOL...


monlim said...

LOL! Well, the colours on Da Vinci's paintings, esp before restoration, were rather drab...

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