Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius: Coming March 2024

THE LUME Melbourne Unveils Groundbreaking Leonardo da Vinci Experience: A Journey into the Mind of a Genius

Dedicated to exploring the life of arguably the greatest creative genius the world has ever known, Grande Experiences flagship venue,  THE LUME Melbourne, is thrilled to announce the opening of Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius in March 2024, an unparalleled experience that promises to be the most ambitious, immersive and breathtaking yet.

It’s been two years since Van Gogh at THE LUME forever changed how art is experienced in Australia, presenting masterpieces such as Starry Nights in an accessible way everyone can enjoy – and on a scale that captivated audiences like never before. With the opening of its fourth experience in March 2024, prepare to step inside the world’s most famous works of art as Mona Lisa and The Last Supper come to life on THE LUME’s colossal canvas at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This groundbreaking presentation immerses visitors in the grandeur and intricacies of these masterpieces, providing an intimate encounter with the brilliance of Leonardo’s artistry that is not possible in traditional museum settings.

A Master Beyond Masterpieces

Artist, inventor, scientist, philosopher and musician, Leonardo da Vinci transcends his era. Not only did he create masterpieces never surpassed for their beauty, technique and anatomical accuracy, but his pioneering contributions in architecture, engineering and even flight (to name but a few), laid the foundations for many modern innovations, making his influence more profound and far-reaching than anyone who has followed.

As with all experiences at THE LUME, this isn’t your typical stroll through an art gallery as you enter a world where the lines between art and reality blur. Engaging all the senses with sights, sounds, scents, touch and taste, the narrative weaves its way through the streets of Florence, the canals of Venice and the grandeur of Milan, recreating the ambience of the Renaissance to unveil the life and human side of Leonardo. As visitors journey through the vast 3,000m² multi-sensory gallery, they will also gain a profound understanding of the maestro’s inspirations, innovations and enduring impact.

“Leonardo da Vinci’s contributions to art, science and innovation are immeasurable and continue to shape our modern world,” says Bruce Peterson, Owner & CEO of THE LUME Melbourne. “We aim to provide a unique and immersive experience that not only celebrates the genius of Leonardo but also underscores the relevance of his ideas in the contemporary landscape. As a pioneer in bridging art and technology, THE LUME Melbourne is honoured to bring Leonardo’s legacy to life in a way that engages, inspires and resonates with audiences of all ages.”

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius at THE LUME Melbourne

Leonardo’s Machine Inventions Brought to Life from his Notebooks

Building on the success of Emily’s Wall and the Gallery of Original Art at THE LUME’s current experience Connection, the Leonardo da Vinci digital experience will be enriched with significant artefacts.

Central to the experience is a journey through the mind of a master inventor with an awe-inspiring display of 50 machine inventions painstakingly crafted by, and on loan from, the Museo Leonardo da Vinci in Rome. Skilled Italian artisans were commissioned to study and construct a range of inventions from Leonardo’s sketches, using, where possible, techniques and materials that would have been available to Leonardo himself in fifteenth-century Italy. Among them will be flying machine concepts that predate the realisation of human flight by more than 400 years. THE LUME Melbourne is privileged to showcase this extraordinary collection, offering visitors a tangible connection to the ingenious spirit of the Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius at THE LUME Melbourne

Unveil the Enigma Behind the World’s Most Famous Smile

Another key component of the experience is the pioneering work of the famous French optical engineer Mr Pascal Cotte, consultant to The Louvre Museum. Cotte invented a multispectral camera that can scan from ultraviolet to infrared. His research peels back the layers of Mona Lisa, revealing previously hidden details. “The results shatter many myths and alter our vision of Leonardo’s masterpiece forever,” says Cotte.

‘Mona Lisa Revealed’ is an area devoted to Cotte’s ongoing discoveries that have been more than 15 years in the making – and includes the only exact 360º replica in the world of the famed painting made from his one-of-a-kind research, with the front, back and sides revealed to us from Cotte’s 240,000,000 pixel multispectral camera. A must-see for admirers of Leonardo’s greatest masterpiece who have never got close to the original – as well as those who have battled the constant crowds at The Louvre in Paris – this is your chance to spend some quality time with “Lisa”.

Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius at THE LUME Melbourne

A Renaissance Rhapsody

Expanding the immersive journey into the broader Renaissance period, a sub-feature nestled within the main experience will be a visual feast, showcasing the brilliance of Leonardo da Vinci’s contemporaries that also left an indelible mark on art history. From Botticelli’s ethereal The Birth of Venus to Michelangelo’s transcendent Sistine Chapel ceiling and the gripping works of Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi (the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence), prepare to be transported through the artistic marvels of the Italian Renaissance.

Watch this space for more spectacular announcements, plus more details of everything you’ve come to expect at THE LUME Melbourne, including Renaissance-themed dining.

A Partnership in the Spirit of Leonardo

In an exciting partnership, which in the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci unites cutting-edge engineering with the arts, Webuild proudly joins forces with THE LUME Melbourne to bring Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius to Australia, underscoring a joint commitment to fostering innovation, culture and community enrichment through investment in the arts.

Leonardo da Vinci - 500 Years of Genius is now available for touring. More info here.