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Il Duomo al tempo di Leonardo

A special exhibition at the Duomo Museum from 22 November 2019 to 23 February 2020

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22 November Nov 2019 1423 22 November 2019



Opening Hours​

from 22 NOVEMBER 2019 to 23 FEBRUARY 2020
Every day from 10 am to 6pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Last ticket sold at 5 pm. Last admission at 5.10 pm

Buy tickets here

Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum) - Church of San Gottardo in Corte - Access to the exhibition
Tickets starting from 6 € / 3 €


As part of the initiatives promoted to celebrate the five hundred years since Leonardo da Vinci's death, the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo di Milano is paying tribute to the great Florentine genius with an exhibition titled "Il Duomo al tempo di Leonardo" (Milan cathedral in Leonardo's time) which tells the public about his involvement in the events surrounding the construction of the Cathedral at the end of the fifteenth century.

The exhibition, which is held at the Duomo Museum in the Gian Galeazzo Hall from 22 November 2019 to 23 February 2020, offers a portrait of Milan cathedral in the years when Leonardo, together with other lofty minds of his time, was called to solve one of the most intriguing challenges in the church’s history, the construction of the dome lantern,at the time in which Milan was ruled by Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Ludovico il Moro (1482-1499).

The exhibition tells a chapter of the Duomo's history and enriches it by looking at the present and at the Fabbrica's role in the protection and promotion of Milan cathedral and of its historical and art heritage.A multimedia platform allows visitors to understand Leonardo Da Vinci's proposed plan for the lantern through a digital rendering of the drawings the Florentine genius made for the Atlantic Codex. The platform was built thanks to our collaboration with the Politecnico(Engineering School) of Milan, which consistently supports and monitors the cathedral, starting from a survey made by the Department of Building Engineering on the dome lantern during the latest series of restoration works.

The exhibition begins with an introductory part that helps visitors understand the complex building works that characterise the history of Milan cathedral from the 15th century to the present day. The exhibition itself is divided into five sections, with documents, books, drawings and other works owned by the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo and by other prominent Milanese institutions: (1) the construction site in the 15th century; (2) Franchino Gaffurio'scantierearmonico; (3) Leonardo and the Duomo; (4) the challenge of the dome lantern; (5) the top spire, with in-depth material on the works that have been carried out on the dome latern in recent years.

The exhibition, which is part of the programmes of the Municipality of Milan and of the "Leonardo 500" initiative, has been organised under the direction of the Scientific Committee of the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo di Milano in the Gian Galeazzo Hall of the Duomo Museum. It is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milan, by the Ministry for Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism, by the Regional Government of Lombardy, by the Municipality of Milan, by the National Committee for the Celebration of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death and is promoted in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano thanks also to the support of BorsaItaliana and of Eberhard Italia.

Alongside the exhibition, many activities promoted by the VenerandaFabbrica will be entirely dedicated to understanding Leonardo's role in Milan cathedral. They will start on Saturday 30 November at 3 pm with the guided tour "The Cathedral in Leonardo's time" (12 € / 8€), a journey across the exhibition and the Cathedral which will also be repeated on Saturday 25 January 2020. For families with children, the special guided tour "Leonardo da Vinci and the challenge of the dome" (8 €) will be held on Sunday 24 November, 19 January and 9 February at 4 pm. All information can be found at www.duomomilano.it.

For information on tickets and access:
tel. +39.02.72023375

Fedele Confalonieri, President of the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo di Milano, said: "After the exhibition dedicated to Lucio Fontana, thanks to the sensibility of the Scientific Committee of the Duomo Museum led by MgrGianantonioBorgonovo, the VenerandaFabbrica pays tribute to Leonardo da Vinci on the 500th anniversary of the death of the Florentine genius with the exhibition Il Duomo al tempo di Leonardo. This project reaffirms our collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, in an attempt to give shape to Leonardo's sketches for the Cathedral lantern in order to better understand what Leonardo had in mind for the Duomo. It is an opportunity to tell the history of the treasure trove of wisdom that the Fabbrica has kept for 632 years and of which, we like to think, he too felt the strength and pride".

MgrGianantonioBorgonovo, Archpriest of Milan Cathedral and Director of the Culture and Conservation Area of the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo di Milano said: "The VenerandaFabbrica and the Metropolitan Chapter had to take part in the fifth centenary of Leonardo da Vinci's death because of the many common fields of interest that led the Florentine genius to become involved with the Duomo and the city of Milan, from engineering to music, from painting to urban planning, literature and poetry. They had to do it in the most suitable and effective way, that is by recognising Leonardo's role as a great engineer, thinker and artist for the Cathedral, while at the same confirming the Fabbrica'sfirst peculiarity, that is the fact that it has managed this great monument for centuries. With Leonardo, more than five hundred years ago, two giants clashed, and the Fabbrica won".

Stefano Bruno Galli, Minister for Autonomy and Culture of the Regional Government of Lombardy said: "I want to congratulate the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo on this really fascinating exhibition. Il Duomo al tempo di Leonardo has the merit of reconstructing - also using multimedia technologies - a lesser known, but absolutely significant episode in Leonardo da Vinci's stay in Milan. The building of the dome lantern of Milan Cathedral took a very long time and it involved the best minds in the field of engineering and architecture at the time. Donato Bramante, Luca Fancelli, Francesco Di Giorgio Martini and Leonardo himself participated in a sort of competition of ideas to solve the formidable puzzle posed by the lantern in terms of aesthetic coherence and structural stability. In fact, at the VenerandaFabbrica, in a city enlightened by the great humanist Ludovico il Moro, there was an exciting clash between architectural models and construction techniques. It was a contest between different visions, where tradition and innovation competed against one another, a challenge that, because of the personalities involved, once again testifies to the central role played by the Duchy of Milan in the cultural landscape of the Renaissance".

Filippo Del Corno, Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Milan, said: "Leonardo da Vinci spent more time in Milan than in any other city during his life. His plan for the dome lantern of Milan cathedral, which was unfortunately never built, shows how the cathedral's magnificence, even in the 15th century, when it was still incomplete, constituted a powerful stimulus and a challenge that not even Leonardo could escape. This exhibition pays tribute to his inexhaustible talent and to his very strong bond with our city".

Valentina Sidoti, Head of the “Finance for Fine Arts”Project by BorsaItalianasaid: "At BorsaItaliana we are happy to renew our support for the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo, which is organising the exhibition Il Duomo al tempo di Leonardo in the context of its promotional activities for Milan cathedral. Through documents, drawings and works the exhibition pays tribute to the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci, who was called to build the dome lantern of Milan cathedral at the end of the 15th century. In the context of the exhibition, BorsaItaliana had the pleasure of contributing to the restoration of two statues depicting two angels, full-length and enveloped in abundant drapery, attributed to Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. This occasion makes us particularly proud because we are giving back to the public and to the city of Milan an important piece of its history. BorsaItaliana has always been involved in numerous initiatives related to art and culture through the ProgettoRivelazioni and actively contributes to promoting the artistic and cultural heritage of our country".

"Eberhard & Co's contribution to the digitalisation of the documents of the Archive of the VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo reflects our commitment to supporting initiatives of great cultural importance, whose goal is the promotion and safeguard of the art heritage of our country", said Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard Italia. "VenerandaFabbrica del Duomo is a unique institution that unites the past and with the present. It truly represents the historic heart of the city and it is one of the most important institutions in Italy and Europe. Its Archive combines technical, artistic and documentary wealth. Moreover, sponsoring another event dedicated to Leonardo in the year of his celebration was an unmissable opportunity for us, after the exhibitionL'ottica di Leonardo: dall'éidola to the camera obscura, which included five reproductions from Leonardo's Atlantic Codex, organised as part of the MIA Photo Fair, an international fair dedicated to art photography, of which we have been a partner for seven years".