For a trip back to the Renaissance consider a visit to Victoria in the Winter of 1998-99.
The Royal British Columbia Museum will be one of only two sites in North America to host a world-travelling exhibition on Leonardo Da Vinci. While viewers won't get to see the original Mona Lisa -- much of Leonardo's art is to fragile to travel -- they will see some of his paintings, sculptures, and much of his work in the fields of scientific discovery and invention. There are total of 230 items in all. The exhibition has drawn thousands to its other North American venue in Boston. Information 1-800 661 5411
This historical context provided the inspiration for the present exhibition. It puts on display the most significant technological achievements of some of the artist-engineers that preceded Leonardo. It also provides tangible evidence of the fact that Leonardo's "universal" intellectual experience - embracing art and science- was the supremely creative culmination of a long process: the renewal of technical knowledge that persisted thoughout the Renaissance.
The show comprises three sections, devoted respectively to Filippo Brunelleschi, the Sienese engineers, (Taccola and Francesco di Giorgio), and Leonardo da Vinci. A key attraction is the series of fifty spectacular working models of the most significant machines of the Renaissance. Multimedia applications enable even non-specialists to understand how the devices worked, and reproduce several dozen notebooks and workshop records by Leonardo, and his colleagues, turning the spectator into an active traveller on a journey from which he/she will emerge with a new image of the Renaissance.
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Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 18:35:05
From: "Edward J. Pelegrino"
Subject: Site du Jour of the Day (980914)
Site du Jour of the Day (980914)
September 14, 1998
Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling?
The International ThinkQuest Collaborative Team
John F. Kennedy High School
Bronx, New York, USA
It is always a treat to see what high school students are learning about, especially when the subject is something one also enjoyed at that age. Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling? is the work of two schools, one in the US and another in Sweden. This site and the pointers it contains celebrate the life and vision of an often misunderstood genius. As an artist, engineer and mathematician the work of Leonardo Da Vinci continues to captivate and amaze people after five hundred years. Public interest in Leonardo Da Vinci will only increase in the year leading to the completion of his Charger, a 15 ton cast bronze horse originally commissioned in 1482 by Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan and never realized during the sculptor's lifetime. The students have done a wonderful job with the site and have obviously learned a great deal along the way.
Visit the Site du Jour of the Day Archives at
PARIS (AP) -- Yellowed by layers of varnish applied over the centuries, the jaundice-faced Mona Lisa remains the Louvre's top attraction. Some experts say it's high time for a facelift, but the Louvre says, ``Hands off.''
Thanks to computer technology, a French art magazine is offering a glimpse of what the Mona Lisa may have looked like when Leonardo da Vinci painted her in 1503: rosy cheeks instead of yellow pallor, pale blue skies instead of the famed sunset glow.
Today's debate, to clean or not to clean, follows the Louvre's decision to give the world's most famous painting a room of her own. The new gallery won't be completed until at least 2001.
Art experts are urging the Louvre to use the move as an opportunity to scrape off the accumulated varnish, applied to preserve the work's magical luster.
The bi-monthly magazine Journal des Arts published two photos of the Mona Lisa -- one touched up, the other as is -- in its current edition, along with divergent opinions on a possible facelift. For the Louvre, there's no debate at all.
``It's absolutely out of the question to restore the Mona Lisa in any way,'' Jean-Pierre Cuzin, chief paintings' curator at the museum, told The Associated Press on Friday.
Cuzin said the last touch-up dates to the mid-1950s, when experts removed several age spots. Despite the canvas's yellow hues, Cuzin said the painting is in good condition and doesn't need cleaning now.
Besides, he said, the new gallery's state-of-the-art lighting and special nonreflective glass will enhance Mona Lisa's beauty. ``The Mona Lisa isn't as dark as people think,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``We'd rather wait until we're sure that a cleaning wouldn't do any irreparable damage.'' Others insist the Louvre's 5.2 million visitors deserve Mona Lisa at her best.
``I consider the Mona Lisa to be a work of art and not an icon, so there's no reason to treat it differently from any other painting,'' British art expert Alastair Laing told the Journal des Arts. ``I think the Louvre should consider removing the varnish, just as they have in other works.''
Da Vinci pioneered the complex techniques to achieve the brilliance and subtlety that have made the work so famous. And experts agree that a facelift would be tricky, if not a nightmare. ``If you want a restoration expert to commit suicide, put him to work on the Mona Lisa,'' said Jean-Gabriel Goulinat, who worked on the masterpiece for more than 30 years.
Resin, lacquer and varnish have been layered on the painting at different intervals in the past 495 years. Their chemical reaction to natural light have made the Mona Lisa look as though she's suffering from hepatitis, and all require different types of solvent for removal, which could cause irreparable damage to the painting.
But Cuzin makes another point that transcends the debate over possible damage to the painting: While viewers may believe that vivid pinks and blues and whites reside beneath the multiple coats of varnish, Mona Lisa may never have had such vibrant coloring. ``Unlike Raphael, for example, da Vinci used very little contrast. His palette was different hues of brown and gray,'' he said.
Mona Lisa Bridge
Re: Thank you for visiting our site
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:29:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Victoria Duchovny
Dear Mr. Feld
Thank you for your reply, the Mona Lisa is a continuing source of fascination for me. The book I read about the beard that Mona Lisa supposedly once had was called: The Unexplained; An illustated guide to the World's Natural and Paranormal Mysteries.. It's by Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker, Carelton Books Ltd. Copyright 1996. It also detailed conjecture and heresay about the Mona Lisa possibly being pregnant, having Bells Palsy or no teeth!!!
I'm flattered by the Golden Reflective Star award and appreciate your reply.
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 16:31:21 -0500
From: "Rina de' Firenze" email@example.com
Dear Steve, Italy is calling this 1999, the "YEAR OF LEONARDO" !
This year is being focused on Leonardo to celebrate his many inventions come to light during this last century of the Millennium, starting with Bill Gates, lending the Exhibit of Leonardo's Codex to Milano. The Stamp represents the first Euro Coin for Italy. One side it has the eleven stars representing the countries belonging to the European Union, the other side it has Leonardo's drawing. The indentation around the coin is a reminder of his mechanical inventions.
The last but not the least will be the arrival to Italy of the monumental Bronze Horse, to be erected in Milano on the 10th of September, 1999, a gift from the USA to Renaissance Italy to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's contribution to the world. Thank you Charles Dent for originating it, and thank you Roger Enloe for bringing Charles' dream to completion!
In my opinion the celebration started a year earlier with the exceptional Website of the clever students of JFK High School of New York. Congratulations and best wishes for an even greater New Year !
Rina de' Firenze
Author of Mystery of the Mona Lisa
Institute and Museum of History of Science
Date: February 12 1999
I have visited your site and find it very interesting. Yes, please make a link with the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza site. I am pleased to sign your guestbook.