The Royal House of Medici Holdings has sponsored an ongoing Leonardo & Followers exhibit in Puebla since June of 2022.
This exhibition gathers the maximum expressions of Leonardo’s artistic culture, involving the major students and interpreters of Leonardo’s thought. From Marco d’Oggiono to Giampietrino, from Cesare da Sesto to Bernardino Luini, passing through Bernardino de ’Conti and Salaì, these are the artists who have had the privilege of entering the direct diffusion of Leonardo’s thought; those who received the lessons of the Master and most popularized his verb in 16th century European painting. They are also the ones who first became fascinated by Leonardo’s exploits, collected the testimonies and often it is thanks to them that we can understand the gestation of works such as the two versions of the Virgin of the Rocks or the Madonna of the Yarnwinder. Through this group of exceptional painters, we have the opportunity to ‘recover’ some of Leonardo’s painful projects, the most unknown and which today are full of problems. One of these is undoubtedly the piece dedicated to Salvator Mundi and therefore to Leonardo’s commission of a ‘young Christ’ who preaches in the Temple.
A suggestive solution of this exhibition is certainly represented by the collaboration between the Master and his students: the Bare-breasted Magdalene is an effective example, where Leonardo prepares the figure – and perhaps also the landscape, while the pupil (in this case Marco d’Oggiono) completes the rest. But the collaboration between teacher and students is also produced in teaching, because Leonardo committed his followers through the study of drawing, to copy famous ancient drawings, or otherwise, to ‘review’ his own directly. An extraordinary example of this practice is represented in this exhibition by the beautiful Men’s head which is set by Leonardo and was completed by his students.
In this exhibition there are several points of comparison with Leonardo’s most famous artworks, among these there is also the theme of the Battle of Anghiari, the unfortunate fresco created in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence and then lost due to the problems of the experimental technique pictorial. In this case, the understanding of this theme is demonstrated through a sketch of pawing horses with a rider and the famous The fight for the banner, better known as the “Timbal version”. A journey around Leonardo’s memories that is told through a group of paintings that make us understand the spread of an artistic phenomenon that has fertilized Europe from Lombardy, reaching unprecedented iconographic successes.
Marc Dennis is an American artist known for his hyper-realistic paintings that celebrate the subversive potential of beauty and art history. He is represented with Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and Palm Beach, FL. His studio is in Brooklyn, NY.
Traditional painter and AI whisperer, Ren AI merges the old masters’ art with his modern taste using instinctive brush strokes, layered lights and hidden meanings. The scenes are taken from everyday life, but they convey the deepest feelings of the people depicted. The viewer can take in the craft and the message to bring home a reaction that will make them think for long time.