Inside genius

The Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, where Leonardo Da Vinci‘s Codex Atlanticus is kept, is until June host to The Mastery of Time. Presented side by side, these masterworks in horology and Renaissance drawings reflect the replica Omega watches store multiple facets of human invention.

A gentle half-light bathes the room, which sits beneath the white alabaster vault that dominates the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, towering some thirty feet above the floor and book-lined walls. The atmosphere is one of intimacy but also majesty that instils a sense of awe among visitors who discover an age when knowledge was conveyed in manuscripts, some (the most venerable) illuminated. As proof, twenty-four “terminals” circle this ancient hall, each displaying a page from the hand of Leonardo da Vinci and all taken from the Codex Atlanticus, which is held at the Biblioteca. This may seem like an infinitely small selection – the Codex compiles more than 1,700 writings and drawings on 402 sheets – yet however few, it would be impossible to view these now restored pages, filled with the sketches and uk Montblanc replica watches mirror writing of the Renaissance polymath, without some emotion, leaving no doubt that Clio, the muse of History, still works her magic.

Exceptionally, since April these twenty-four terminals have stood in the company of twenty display cases. They belong to The Mastery of Time, the exhibition curated by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) inside the Biblioteca Ambrosiana that will run until mid-June. On the one hand historical and contemporary timepieces; on the other da Vinci’s conceptualisations; which of the two shows the greatest intellectual dexterity in their command of space-time is impossible to say. Whatever the answer, genius is at work on both sides of the aisle. Visitors’ interest, nonetheless, is clearly captivated by innovations in the measurement of time: the public who come to the library to contemplate Renaissance masterpieces only have eyes for the timepieces which they are delighted, albeit surprised, to discover in these magnificent surroundings.

Cosmological forces at work

This display of horological achievement accompanies the launch of La Conquista del Tempo, the Italian edition of the reference work published by the FHH which also forms the backbone of the exhibition, whose purpose is to educate visitors as it takes in the different perspectives – historical, scientific, artistic and technical – of time measurement. Armed with their guide, visitors begin their journey with seventeenth-century artefacts to end with the finest in contemporary watchmaking. Between the two, they discover the vast contribution of the artistic crafts and cheap fake Omega watchmaking’s lapses into electronic movements. Ultimately, he or she realises that the mastery of time is a question of culture, reflected in the choice of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana. In the words of Franco Cologni, President of the FHH Cultural Council, “it inserts this exhibition in a process of progressive rediscovery of the values that have allowed humanity to connect with the mysterious and fascinating forces that run through the minutes, the hours, the days.”

These cosmological forces, measured by virtue of and in accordance with the demands of life as a community, are the very ones that govern our universe and require our utmost efforts to give them meaning. A visit to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a good place to begin.