If the things I have promised to do seem impossible or unrealizable, I can provide an experimental test anywhere Your Excellence desires, as I am your humble servant.
Leonardo da Vinci to
Ludovico il Moro Duke of Milan
Codex Atlanticus, f. 1082 recto
For the very first time, a selection of twelve original plates from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus (preserved in the archives of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy) will be exhibited in the United States at the District of Columbia Public Library in Washington, DC, from June 20 to August 20, 2023.
Leonardo da Vinci is universally recognized as an example of eclectic genius, emblematic of that iconic, timeless creativity that still today moves, inspires and thrills the entire world. This eclecticism is the heart and soul of Italian entrepreneurship, capable of blending rationality, creativity, technology and humanism and bringing to life products, processes and solutions that are unique anywhere in the world.
But what was the thought process of this Italian genius? How was able to make himself a driver for change and innovation? Unquestionably it started from what existed, challenging the limits audaciously and creatively, as the life and works of Leonardo show, letting himself be guided by something unique: his vision. The vision that ignited Leonardo when he conceived and transcribed on those sheets that would become the Codex Atlanticus, mechanisms and objects to make people’s lives easier, less arduous and more entertaining. The same thing that ignites entrepreneurs when, faced by some instance of inefficiency or void in the market, they intuit the opportunity for a major project. Leonardo’s philosophy, based on observation and experimentation, permeates the DNA of Italian entrepreneurship. The exhibition, IMAGINING THE FUTURE, is an invitation to think about these themes and how mankind can make use of the resources offered by the mind and ability to act to build a better world.