WASHINGTON, DC, October 22, 2019 ̶ On Tuesday October 22nd, the Italian Embassy in DC hosted an event to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death and the legacy of the renaissance genius.
The event, sponsored by Leonardo SpA, was aimed at celebrating not only his artistic achievements, as the creator of some the world’s most famous and admired paintings – among which the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper but also the Ginevra de’ Benci in the collection of the National Gallery – but his resolve in stretching the boundaries of possibility, his ability to make meaningful connections between different fields of knowledge, and his empirical approach that foreshadowed the methods that would later give origin to contemporary science.
Italy’s Ambassador to the US, Armando Varricchio, in his opening remarks underlined the strength of the friendship and Alliance uniting Italy and the US as testified by the recent visit of the President of the Italian Republic in the USA. Varricchio also added; “Tonight, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo, the quintessential Renaissance man whose ingenuity, creativity and ability to stretch the boundaries of human knowledge, have always been deeply grounded and centered on a humanistic approach. Leonardo’s legacy lives on to this day, as we try to ensure that the groundbreaking developments in many scientific fields we are witnessing are inclusive and benefit all of human kind. An approach that lies at the heart of the relationship between the USA and Italy, between the many researchers and scientists that work hand in hand to boost progress on both sides of the Atlantic, and between American and Italian companies, such as Leonardo.
The Ambassador’s words were echoed by Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo’s CEO, who stated “As CEO of a leading international Aerospace, Defense and Security company, I am pleased to contribute to the celebration of this incomparable and unrivalled man, scientist, artist and literate. Our Company, with roots in Italy, bears its name in honor of this ‘Genio Universale’ whose vision of future worlds, and passion for innovation and excellence in engineering, still informs our daily activity. Similarly, Leonardo’s ability to reach outside national boundaries drives us to continuously improve and develop our Company’s international presence and grow with our partners, an example of which is over 50 years of serving the US government with technologies that share da Vinci’s view of transforming ideas into innovation.”
The event also represented an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Leonardo DRS, the American subsidiary of the Italian company Leonardo and was enriched by an inspiring speech on Leonardo da Vinci legacy and enduring lesson by Michael Gelb, author of “How to think Leonardo Da Vinci, and by a performance by renowned mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski.
On display at the Embassy for the evening were some reproductions of da Vinci’s flying machines, thanks to the exhibition designed by Leonardo.