Florence Biennale is pleased to announce the theme of the XIIth edition:
ARS ET INGENIUM
Toward Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Similitude and Invention
After the success of the XIth Florence Biennale 2017 (460 participating artists from over 70 countries) the XIIth edition of Florence Biennale will take place from October 18 to 27, 2019 at the Spadolini Pavilion, Fortezza da Basso (Florence).
In anticipation of the fifth centenary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Florence will reflect on the cognitive and creative approach of the great master of the Renaissance who is regarded as unsurpassed genius.
In particular, the theme of the XIIth Florence Biennale will focus on Leonardo’s multifaceted being: an outstanding artist, he was also ‘scientist’ committed to exploring nature in order to grasp the knowledge spanning different disciplines of comparative anatomy, botany, geology, physics, and intertwining cosmology with his studies on light, and more besides.
Meanwhile, thinking of Leonardo as an extraordinary exemplum for contemporary creativity, we wish to draw attention on the fact that, by joining art practice and ‘scientific’ research with experimentation, he challenged the long held distinction that had long been made between artes mechanicae and artes liberales.
As offspring of a fertile mind aiming to compete in creativity with the divine, a treasure trove of invenzioni mirabilissime (amazing inventions) were given breath of life by Leonardo. Although at times they crystallised within the pages of his manuscripts, they enriched painting as well as scenic design, and sculpture.
In the light of all this, the ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ Lifetime Achievement Awards 2019 will be bestowed to outstanding personalities whose names will be disclosed shortly.
Leonardo da Vinci’s work, which has been a source of inspiration for five centuries, is being reinterpreted in a variety of ways by many contemporary artists at different career stages and with different cultural backgrounds, interests, and skills who will participate in the XIIth Florence Biennale. To them we dedicate Paul Valéry’s words, inviting all of us to imagine Leonardo at work and follow him ‘as he moves throughout the crude and dense wholeness of the world, where nature becomes so familiar to him that he wishes he could imitate it well enough to grasp it, and yet he will ultimately face the difficulty of conceiving an object which is not in nature’.
In the end, we are glad to confirm for the XIIth Florence Biennale the prestigious patronages of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Tuscany Region, the Municipality of Florence and the National Committee Italian ICOMOS.