The Leonardo Da Vinci Project
Uncovering the Lost Paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) epitomised the Renaissance, the cultural movement that sprang out of the political powerhouse of 15th century Florence. His unique combination of curiosity and imagination, artistic ability and scientific reasoning led to an abundance of ideas, some of which are only becoming technologically possible now, nearly five centuries after his death. However, only a small number of his works have survived. Florence’s cultural supremacy was to be short-lived. In 1494, waves of religious fanaticism, fanned by the Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola, led to the destruction of irreplaceable masterpieces, including many by Leonardo. The surviving artworks and buildings that were so central to Florence’s evolutionary role in European cultural development have become ever more precious. Revealing the full extent of this legacy is imperative, and is at the heart of Kalpa’s Leonardo da Vinci Project.
Scientific art investigation continues to expand our knowledge of both artworks and their creators, and the Kalpa Group is committed to encouraging new forms of scientific cultural research. One of the foremost exponents in the emerging field of art and architectural diagnostics is Dr Maurizio Seracini who, since the 1970s, has devoted himself to researching Florence’s cultural heritage and pioneering new technological methods through his company, Editech. In research funded by the Kalpa Group, Dr Seracini has concentrated on several of Leonordo’s major works, as well as one of the key buildings of the Renaissance, the Palazzo Vecchio, a building Leonardo knew intimately. In January 2010, Dr Seracini presented a number of his preliminary findings to the World Economic Forum in Davos, demonstrating the huge potential of such research.