This site employs cookies, for both technical and profiling reasons.

If you continue browsing, it means you accept their use. Show detailed info

I accept


Choose language:


The exhibition of the famous Codex Leicester at the Uffizi, is the preview of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death (1519)

It will be a unique opportunity to analyze closely the content of the Codex Leicester, created by Leonardo da Vinci in Florence between 1504 and 1508.

It consists of 72 leonardo-acquapages full of notes, drawings and sketches, having Water as a guideline (including brilliant observations also on the other elements: earth-fire-air). According to Leonardo’s philosophy, who defined himself as "student of Nature", everything is the result of his direct experience of observation of natural phenomena. Leonardo explores the nature of this element, with continuous references to the Arno and the Florentine plain, formulating a series of possible applications of its swirling movements, its shaping and destructive powers.

The period when he worked on the code were extraordinary years not only for Leonardo, but also for the cultural history of Florence (contemporary presence of Michelangelo, Raphael… and Leonardo). This code witnesses his infinite interests, that were not limited exclusively to the art world. These were the years of the Gioconda, of his grandiose fresco - unfortunately lost - of the Battle of Anghiari in Palazzo Vecchio; but also of his scientific studies, such as the anatomical ones (conducted in the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova), or those on the flight of birds, with the experimentation from Monte Ceceri (Fiesole) of the famous "Flying Machine".

When Leonardo died, the code passed to the trusted student Francesco Melzi. For years the traces were lost until, after a series of passages, in 1717 it was bought by Thomas Coke, future Earl of Leicester; hence the name of the code that Bill Gates, the current owner, bought in 1994 by Armand Hammer.
Thanks to the latest multimedia technologies, a real immersive experience in Leonardo’s universe is possible; the comprehension of the texts is  facilitated by the translation of Leonardo’s autograph annotations and a series of hypertextual insights. Besides, many Leonardo drawings, strictly connected with the contents of the code, will be also on display.

With the same ticket one can visit the whole Uffizi Gallery, which includes three famous paintings by Leonardo: the Baptism of Christ (actually a cooperation with Verrocchio, his teacher), the Annunciation and the revolutionary - although unfinished - Adoration of the Magi, recently restored. There will be many events in Florence for the Leonardian celebrations of 2019: the important exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, Verrocchio, Leonardo's master (8 March - 14 July 2019), the exhibition at Palazzo Vecchio of 12 sheets of the Codex Atlanticus (spring 2019), another exhibition on Leonardo's botanical studies, in the second half of the year Soon the entire calendar of celebrations, throughout Italy, will be published on the dedicated website:


Water as Microscope of Nature. Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester
Uffizi, October 29, 2018 – January 20, 2019



Published: 18/10/2018

Learn more

Accommodations Accommodations
Events Events
Historic business Historic business
Natural reserves Natural reserves
Place of interest Place of interest
Services and useful information Services and useful information
Shopping Shopping
Things to do Things to do
Where to eat Where to eat