Ambrosian Library, exhibition “The Ambrosian Library and Leonardo”

Exhibition design of the showcases and arrangement


The Atlantic Codex is the largest and most astonishing collection of writings and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci first compiled in the late 1500’s by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni (1533-1608). After an adventurous and tormented history, and after its most recent restoration in 1968 by a laboratory in Grottaferrata, the Atlantic Codex now rests in the Sala del Tesoro in the Ambrosian Library.

Arranged in two beautiful halls, the exhibit “The Ambrosian Library and Leonardo” put 24 of the 1119 pages of the Atlantic Codex on display—at the time it was bound in 12 volumes—and the entire corpus of the other 27 drawings autographed by Leonardo and in possession of the Ambrosian Library along with some of the most significant works of the Maestro’s students.

Table showcases were designed for the volumes of the codex with crystal bell cases with a stabilized microclimate, internally diffused fiber optic illumination with a variable intensity and a mechanical lifting opening.
The internal set up was done with small stands for the single volumes to avoid mechanical tension on the bindings while keeping in mind the foreseen page that would be opened as designated by the scientific design of the display.