The rich programme of initiatives organised in China by the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Beijing, to mark the 500th Anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci has kicked off. The first event is “Leonardo Week” and it began on 15 April concomitantly to the “Italian Research Day in the World.”
As part of the celebrations, the Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) is hosting an exhibition entitled, “The Art of Leonardo – Opera Omnia” until 23 May, as well as a series of round table discussions organised by the Cultural Institute in cooperation with the Museum, Tianjin University and Casa Italia in Tianjin. The exhibition, curated by art historian Antonio Paolucci and produced by RAICom, is part of a programme of international promotion of art and education, supported by the Foreign Ministry. Academics, students and all Renaissance art lovers will be able to admire close-up and in one location 17 full-scale, high definition reproductions of Leonardo’s masterpieces. In the first few days since its opening, it has already attracted thousands of visitors.
The series of lectures has also attracted a keen audience, both at the lecture theatres of the Italian Cultural Institute as well as at the CAFA Museum. The events provided an opportunity to focus attention on specific aspects of the genius of the Renaissance, spanning from science and technology, curated by Professor Plinio Innocenzi of the University of Sassari, to the study of Anatomy, presented by the Professors Gianpaolo Ghilardi and Nicola Di Stefano of the Biomedical University Campus in Rome. In addition, Professor Innocenzi presented his paper entitled “The Secrets of Leonardo’s Women”, which has been translated into Chinese. The final event of the week scheduled a round table at Tianjin University with Professor Innocenzi and Professor Li Jingjing of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, moderated by Paolo Genovese, a lecturer at Tianjin University.
The series of lectures and events will continue over the next few months and there will also be a concert of Renaissance music in which some of Leonardo’s rebus musical pieces will be performed for the first time in China. There will also be a national painting competition for children centred on the theme, “Leonardo da Vinci, Man of the Universe – The Insatiable Desire for Knowledge during the Italian Renaissance,” and an impressive exhibition of original paintings by Leonardo in the autumn will close the programme.