22 machines from the fifteenth century exhibited in the Palazzo Beltrani

Although the Renaissance period in the ordinary imagination is traced back and associated with a unique flourishing in the field of art and letters, the extraordinary development that took place in the field of technical knowledge cannot be overlooked. A process of renewal that began in Italy in the late fourteenth century, to be saturated up to the entire fifteenth century, and which produced a series of extraordinary achievements by artist-engineers valued and coveted by popes, princes and sultans.

The cultural scenario of the fifteenth century showed an incredible fervor of technical activities, often of extreme audacity and usually carried out to a successful conclusion, which, even before Leonardo da Vinci entered the field, were numerous artists with considerable talent who were the protagonists . Figures with multiple skills, not only artistic but also military, mechanical, architectural, hydraulic, who through drawing were able to advance a bridge with the eloquent studies of the most refined humanists. The architectural, mechanical, and scientific treatments were enriched with illustrative skills by these new technicians, exponents of the culture of observing, making, and reproducing, who saw the maximum expression and the most mature and original result in the Vinciano genius.

The exhibition “Renaissance, architecture-engineering-science-technical” is based on these proposals, organized by the Association of Arts with patronage of Trani municipality, in collaboration with the CREATTIVAmens and Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Galatone (Le). An unprecedented exhibition, from April 29 to August 21, 2022 at the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani in Trani (BT), which presents to the public the most significant technical achievements of some of the artist-engineers of the time and shows how Leonardo does not represent a unique , but the highest and original sum of this process of renewal of technical knowledge that went through the whole Renaissance. For the first time ever 22 machines (unpublished), mostly full-scale and fully functional, designed ad hoc for the ‘site-specific’ surroundings of the Palazzo Beltrani by engineer Giuseppe Manisco, who built them from the original projects of artists, contemporary architects and engineers with contemporary work techniques such as heat forging.

The exhibition is fully inscribed in the high-profile cultural programming of the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani, a unique exhibition theater, inserted into the circuit of Puglia’s library museum coils. “We hope that the exhibition, unique in its kind, will mark the true renaissance of culture after a two-year pandemic,” comments Niki Battaglia, director of the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani. it is only the beginning of many prestigious events, which we intend to propose to the public during the summer, in order to be attractive to the quality tourism for which the city of Trani can be a catalyst. “

The Renaissance exhibition intends to highlight all the importance that architecture, engineering, science and technology have assumed during this glorious period, and proposes the development of the exhibition’s itinerary around these four themes, which become real faces of the same kaleidoscope called culture.

A journey based on Leonardo da Vinci and his intuitions in the scientific field of optics, with the exhibition of the “function of the eye”, of the “telescope”, which Manisco intended to reconstruct according to the instructions written by the Tuscan genius himself ( Codex F, sheet 25 r), thus anticipating by at least a century the authorship of the invention, historically attributed to Galileo Galilei, by the “dark space” and the infinite mirrors of the “octagonal mirror space”. Space also for construction of dams, with models, real models, faithfully reconstructed, of river barriers designed by Baldassarre Peruzzi.

And again, in Trani it will be possible to admire the grandeur of the flourishing of architecture evident in an impressive ‘column-lifting’ machine with rocker arm, designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a huge multi-speed game engine by Filippo Brunelleschi, in full scale 1 : 1, the same used by the great architect to erect the dome of the Cathedral of Florence, which has come down to us thanks to drawings by artists such as Taccola and Giuliano Sangallo, and another game designed by Giuliano Da Sangallo.

The jubilation of the technique will be in the comparison of two scenographic hoisting prototypes that can be referred to Mariano Daniello di Jacopo known as Taccola and Leonardo da Vinci, from which further inventions and intuitions will be exhibited. All the works on display were created by the engineer Giuseppe Manisco, who is already known for being the author of the largest and most evocative collection of machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci, which forms the heart of the museum dedicated to them in Galatone (Le) and ‘object , since 2009, of important national and foreign exhibitions.

On the occasion of May 1, Engineer Manisco will be the exhibition’s extraordinary guide with guided tours at. 10.00 – 12.00 – 15.00 and 17.00 for a maximum number of 20 people per. group (exhibition and tour 8.00 euros, minors 5.00).

Exhibition opening hours. The exhibition will be open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00. To book, the new Palazzo Beltrani app is available, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple and Google stores, both for tablets and smartphones, or by clicking on the following link: https://www.palazzodelleartibeltrani.it/app- audio guide / or by calling 0883500044 or by sending an e-mail to info@palazzodelleartibeltrani.it. Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket office at the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani.

Admission: 8.00 euros full ticket; 5.00 euros reduced ticket over 65, teachers, minors, students, affiliated associations. The surgical mask must be worn. Admission includes a visit to Ivo Scaringi Art Gallery’s collections.

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