Codex Leicester

The Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci at the Uffizi Gallery

One of Leonardo’s manuscripts, the Codex Leicester is being exposed in Florence, an exceptional event, organized by the Uffizi Galleries in collaboration with the “Museo Galileo”.

This magnificent manuscript is being exposed in the Aula Magliabechiana of the Uffizi Gallery since October 29th2018 till January 20th2019. The visitors will be able to virtually browse the sheets of paper on digital screens and read the text transcription thanks to a multimedia tool, the Codescope. The multimedia applications, created by Museo Galileo, will be available on the websites of the Uffizi and the Museo Galileo.

The Codex Leicester is a 72-page journal full of prodigious notes and extraordinary sketches on water and environment. This handwritten by Leonardo between 1504 and 1508 is composed of 18 double sheets where Da Vinci put together notes for a book that he never completed. Leonardo wrote this codex with his famous mirror-writing style, where the words are to be read from right to left.

The Leicester Code was exhibited for the first time in Florence in 1982, at Palazzo Vecchio, when it was still called the Hammer Code. The code was discovered in Rome, in 1690, by the painter Giuseppe Grezzi inside an old trunk. Grezzi was the owner of the Code until 1717 when it was acquired by the Englishman: Thomas Coke of Leicester. Later it was bought, in 1980, by Armand Hammer.

The precious codex is currently owned by the American multibillionaire Bill Gates, who has lend it to the Uffizi Gallery for the celebrations of the 500thanniversary of Leonardo’s death. This is the only of Leonardo’s manuscripts that currently resides in America, after Bill Gates bought it at an auction in 1994 for 30 million dollars.

Besides the Codex Leicester, another marvellous original drawings realized by Leonardo during that magical period of the history of Florence, have been also exceptionally lent by many Italian and foreign institutions to be exposed in this unique event.

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