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The Leonardo Gallery

This gallery is the heart of the ancient Olivetan monastery of San Vittore. It opened in 1953 and was dedicated to the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci on occasion of the quincentenary of his birth. It hosts a rich selection of models created by a group of engineers and officers who based their work on the study and interpretation of Leonardo's manuscripts. Some important reconstructions - such as the functioning model of the automatic loom assembled in 2003 - were added in more recent times.

Leonardo's drawings vary rarely represent projects for new machines. More often they are illustrations of existing devices, studies for improving machines or tools for the exploration of nature and the understanding of its laws: this means that in many cases they are incomplete, lacking some elements or notes on exact measures and details. These models interpret, complete and translate Leonardo's drawings, thus becoming a fundamental tool for their understanding.

More than fifty years after its opening, the Leonardo Gallery is still fascinating. Yet time has led to the need of a fresh exhibition layout in the light of a new scientific project. This will present a portrait of Leonardo's life and work correlated to the historical context and with a specific attention to the Milanese phase. The Museum will be involved in this ambitions project during the next few years.