Da Vinci to go on view at Knesset

Seven original sketches of the famed Codex Atlanticus to be displayed in the Knesset in honor of an upcoming visit by Berlusconi.

da vinci 311 (photo credit: Leonardo)
da vinci 311
(photo credit: Leonardo)
Seven original sketches that are part of Leonardo da Vinci’s famed Codex Atlanticus have traveled out of Italy for the first time and will be displayed in the Knesset starting next week in honor of an upcoming visit by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is expected at this year’s Herzliya Conference.
The sketches are part of the collection held by the Ambrosiana Library in Milan. The library, which also approved the sketches for display at the recent G-8 summit at L’Aquila, approved their loan to the Knesset, where they will be displayed until Pessah.
Organizers said the display, which consists of the seven sketches  by the Italian master, allows viewers to appreciate the rich body of subjects included in the 12-volume codex. The sketches relate to a plan for a digging machine, two examples of a meat-searing machine, a well-pumping apparatus and a geographic plan, as well as research on flight and hydraulic projects for application in architecture and urban planning.
The 1,119 pages, dating from 1478 to 1519, in the codex contain approximately 1,750 sketches and the books are thought to be the most valuable part of the library’s collection. Exhibit organizers said that it is “justifiably defined as the most important and complete collection of Da Vinci’s works” anywhere in the world. In addition to the fields included in the Knesset display, the codex also touches on medicine, optics, mechanics, geometry, astronomy, anatomy and visual arts.
In recent months, the entire codex has undergone extensive and delicate restoration, entailing the removal of all of the pages from their bindings, and preserving each as an individual page. The de-binding, say experts, allow better preservation of the pages as well as improved access to each for scholars and art aficionados alike.