‘Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius’ Comes to Biltmore
Groups could take a look inside one of the world's most well-known minds, thanks to a new exhibit at the Biltmore estate in Asheville. Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius—open now through February 20, 2023 at Amherst at Deerpark on the estate's grounds—is the third installment of Biltmore's Legends of Art & Innovation exhibition series.
Leonardo da Vinci explains and draws together all aspects of da Vinci's life and times, his key achievements, and how his talents, thoughts, innovations and inventions are still just as relevant today, some 500 years later. This immersive experience includes replicas of da Vinci's large-scale machine inventions and detailed reproductions of his masterpiece paintings, codices and drawings.
Twenty models of the machines that da Vinci designed are featured, with each model constructed directly from the pages of da Vinci's codices. Artisans who did the work used materials readily available in the 15th century including wood, cotton, brass, iron, canvas and chord.
The exhibition also examines Da Vinci's achievements in painting. Of his well-known masterpieces, visiting groups could learn about creation of the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man, one of da Vinci's most famous and recognizable illustrations.
Leonard da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius compliments the ingenuity and innovation that were required to design and build the 250-room Biltmore House. Working with architect Richard Morris Hunt, George Vanderbilt invested in as much modern and cutting-edge technology that was available at the time for his home.
"I think that George Vanderbilt would certainly have been aware of Leonardo da Vinci's works and legacy—likely more so than those living during da Vinci's time," said Meghan Forest, archives and curatorial assistant at Biltmore. "He kept a travel diary during an 1880 trip to Italy in which he discusses his viewing of da Vinci's The Last Supper. Additionally, Vanderbilt's personal art collection includes a set of miniature paintings of history's great artists, authors, and thinkers. Da Vinci is among them."
When Vanderbilt moved into Biltmore House in 1895, it was a model of modern technology. It had electrical wiring, underwater lighting in the swimming pool in the home's basement, telephones, and two elevators, both of which are used daily at Biltmore House.
"The basis for some of these would have been rooted in da Vinci's concepts," Forest said.
Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius is brought to Biltmore by Grande Experiences. More information about the exhibit and tickets are available here.
Courtesy of Groups Today.
Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estate.