Florence, 5 March 2016
Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most versatile talents of Italian art and of creativity, is the subject of the art volume presented in Florence by Menarini.
The traditional series of Menarini art volumes began in far-off 1956 and is enriched this year by a publication dedicated to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest talents of the Italian Renaissance.
Painter, sculptor, architect, but also mathematician, engineer and writer, a man of unflagging curiosity, who wanted to not only represent the world, but, above all, understand its phenomena, by experimenting with them and, for this reason, he studied a number of different sciences on his own. He produced works in Florence, Rome and Milan, before moving to France and the court of King Francis I.
Leonardo's link with Florence was highly important, and it seems that even the famous painting of the Mona Lisa was started by the artist precisely in the Tuscan city before being finished in France.
At the presentation of Leonardo's art volume, which took place in Florence in the Salone de' Cinquecento of Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall, after the greetings of the Florence city administration from Town Counsellor Sara Funaro, there were speeches by Prof. Antonio Natali, art historian and director, until last year, of the Uffizi Gallery, and the author of the book, Prof. Marco Versiero.
“A large part of my studies,” said Prof. Antonio Natali, “ have been dedicated to attempting to re-dimension the myths that the culture industry has created for commercial purposes. To fulfil this hope, , even when I was Director of the Galleria degli Uffizi, I have undertaken to offer museum visitors the lesser known names and subjects, instead of focusing on the usual artists. Having said that, however, I must immediately confess that I was enchanted - studying Leonardo's works in the Uffizi, which are almost the emblem of those myths - by his precocity in assuming the formal expression that characterised the following twenty years. Hence I deemed it positive that Menarini, in continuing its worthy project of publishing an artistic monograph every year, decided to dedicate this year's volume to Leonardo while requesting an unusual interpretation”.
“In face of the obvious impossibility of providing a complete account of Leonardo's multifaceted creativity and the extremely broad spectrum of his activities and skills,” noted Prof. Marco Versiero, “in this volume, we have chosen to prefer a story of his life and his career as an artist, technician and thinker that is inserted in the wider panorama of the historical and political events of his time, which he had to directly confront. He tried, therefore, to interweave the discussion of the artistic and scientific value of his works with the historical importance of the various relationships he had, in various capacities, with the powerful people of the time (from the Medicis to the Sforzas, Borgias and the Kings of France) and with eminent personalities of diplomatic and political depth (from Bernardo Rucellai to Girolamo Savonarola and Niccolo Machiavelli).”
“Florence is a stupendous treasure chest of Italian art and Leonardo was part of it from a very young age, because he moved here as a young man to study in the workshop of his mastee, Andrea del Verrocchio,” said Lucia Aleotti, Chairman of Menarini Group. "We are very proud to have been able to dedicate this volume to Leonardo da Vinci and to present it in the Salone de' Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, which, during the Renaissance, was called the Hall of the Great Council of the Republic of Florence, where Leonardo was able to be present, and to paint the Battle of Anghiari. Menarini's dedication to promoting Italian art has continued for decades and rendering homage to Leonardo, precisely in Florence, and in this venue, is the most sublime way that, as Florentine entrepreneurs, we could organise a tribute to this great artist, one of the greatest minds of mankind”.
The presentation of Leonardo's art volume took place in Florence in the Salone de' Cinquecento of Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall. In the photo from the left : Antonio Natali, Mario Curia Mandragora Editore, Lucia Aleotti President of Menarini Group, Sara Funaro Florence Town Counsellor, Marco Versiero author of Leonardo's art volume, Alberto Giovanni Aleotti Vicepresident Menarini Group.