Johannesburg hosts international Da Vinci exhibition

2014-05-08 08:53
Johannesburg – The global travelling exhibition, Da Vinci – The Genius, is taking Gauteng audiences by storm after opening at The Amazing Place in Woodmead, Sandton, in April. As the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind, it offers a fascinating insight into the awe-inspiring world of renaissance giant, Leonardo da Vinci.

The exhibition – which showcases Da Vinci’s exceptional intellect and creative powers as an artist, inventor, engineer, mathematician, anatomist, architect, sculptor, musician and all-round Renaissance thinker – has been to over 40 cities and attracted more than four million visitors.

Apart from housing the only 360-degree exact replica of the Mona Lisa ever made, the exhibition also reveals 25 secrets about the elusive painting. French scientific engineer, Pascal Cotte, revealed these mysteries after a detailed two-year study in which he virtually “peeled away” the layers of centuries-old paint using his 240-megapixel camera.

“For some five centuries, the enigmatic and elusive smile of the Mona Lisa has intrigued and fascinated countless millions of people. It is a privilege that I am able to share the story and the marvels I discovered on my journey with this painting,” said Cotte at the opening of the exhibition in Sandton.

Da Vinci – The Genius offers a display of more than 200 unique pieces, including 75 life-sized machine inventions and high-definition renderings of Leonardo’s most notable Renaissance works.  Each item on display was meticulously built by Italian artisans using materials available in Leonardo’s era.

Local organisers and promoters, Great World Exhibitions, saw an opportunity to educate the South African public about the wonders of the great Leonardo da Vinci by bringing to life the ideas and concepts written in Leonardo’s codices (handwritten manuscripts).

“Many are unaware that, although Leonardo sketched and conceptualised numerous inventions and ideas, it is believed that less than a handful were built at the time and none exist today.  One of the most fascinating components of Da Vinci – The Genius is that it brings these ideas to life, and items that were conceptualised more than 500 years ago – the bicycle, scuba-diving suit and basic flight machines, to name a few – remain exceptionally important.  Without Leonardo’s forward-thinking in the 1500s, society would not be what it is today,” explained Tyrone Thöle, managing director of Great World Exhibitions.

The Da Vinci – The Genius exhibition will run until 22 June 2014 at The Amazing Place in Woodmead, Sandton. For more information and ticket sales, visit