In the new Leonardo da Vinci Galleries, 36 Sony laser projectors unleash the power of images to immerse visitors in Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance, creating an enthralling experience that’s as insightful as it is alluring
The Leonardo Galleries were founded in 1953 alongside the museum. The galleries have been refurbished somewhat since then and will be reopened to the public after four years of intense restoration work to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the great polymath’s death. The New Galleries, the world’s largest permanent exhibition dedicated to Da Vinci, depict him as an engineer, a humanist, and the ultimate observer of nature, as well as a man in dialogue with his contemporaries. The project is important not only on account of its size and the amount of money that has been invested in it, but also because it delivers a contemporary message: the thirst for knowledge through meticulous study. Sony Professional, once again chosen as the museum’s technology partner, was given the vital task of bringing Da Vinci’s story to life using a vast multimedia installation. The calibre of the project is elevated by the high quality of Sony technology and the innovative effects it offers: Immersive experiences generated using Sony 3LCD laser projectors augment the narrative to enhance visitors’ understanding of the era and the works featured in the exhibition.
What people want from museums has changed. In the past, we would just look at the objects and read the descriptions. Nowadays, museum-goers want an immersive experience. It’s important to maintain a qualitative balance in order to ensure that visitors have enough time to fully take in the exhibition and get actively involved with its content via the interactive features. The exhibition also needed a flexible system that could be adapted to the various display needs and quality requirements; a system that could be kept on and would remain reliable over time.
Those designing the exhibition and taking care of the scenography and the scientific part wanted the installation to have a big audio-visual impact right from the start. The idea was to make Da Vinci’s work accessible to as wide an audience as possible using the power of high-impact imagery. Once again being the museum’s technology partner, Sony has equipped the galleries with a vast multimedia setup comprising 36 Sony high-brightness 3LCD laser projectors (models VPL-FHZ120L, VPL-FHZ58 and VPL-FHZ66) with lenses adapted to each specific installation. The Sony laser projectors are quiet, can be installed in different ways and maintain absolute colour fidelity during continuous use, making the experience even more enjoyable. These features are crucial for effectively sustaining large, high-profile exhibitions such as that in the new Leonardo da Vinci Galleries.
Breath-taking scenography provided by innovative Sony multimedia solutions created a unique visitor experience that is immersive from an emotional, intellectual and physical standpoint. Sony has deployed its expertise, resources and technological innovations to help visitors have a truly unforgettable exhibition experience.
More than 170 works are displayed over 1,300 sqm of space, in which 36 laser projectors with incredible clarity and image reproduction create a thematically and chronologically impactful cultural journey that highlights the different aspects and research fields that characterised Da Vinci’s life: from training in Verrocchio’s workshop throughout his lifetime to drawing, and then on to military engineering projects, studies in aviation and irrigation, and finally to painting and architecture. This narrative framework revives and enriches the artworks with meaning and emotion in an immediate, universally captivating way that is suitable for all audiences, from experts to amateurs, using the power of the images as a transcending language.
The architectural structure of the museum—housed in a 16th century Olivetan monastery—posed challenges for selecting and arranging the historical artefacts, and consequently for installing the Sony equipment needed to showcase them and thus enhance the aesthetic and communicative effect. Three moments in particular struck the Artistic Directors for their impact and complexity. In Hall 1 “ARTISTS OR ENGINEERS?”, projections generated by the VPL-FHZ66 with VPLL-3003 lens depict Da Vinci’s maidservant, a cloth merchant and a young apprentice in Verrocchio’s workshop, completing the impression of standing in Da Vinci’s Florence and engaging visitors with their stories. On both walls of the central gallery in Hall 3 “THE ART OF WAR”, a large projection synchronised using four VPL-FHZ58 projectors reproduces a composition of Da Vinci’s drawings that feature war as their central theme. The large, dynamic fresco with moving figures in vivid colours creates a breath-taking experience while highlighting the exhibits about Da Vinci’s military and ballistic studies. The exhibition culminates in Hall 10 “MAN AND THE COSMOS” with a spectacular installation where multiple projections generated using three VPL-FHZ66 models with VPLL-3009 lens on each wall (right and left) and on the floor recreate floods, swirling motions, breezes and the power of nature in an empathetic way.
The staging and stenographic apparatus aim not only to place Da Vinci’s work in the context of his era, but also to convey the universality of his studies. The spectacular clarity of the Sony laser projections on large surfaces offers a highly memorable experience with clear, sharp, bright images throughout the day — while lowering maintenance and usage costs to boot.
“Because of how excellent the products are, and the competence and technological innovation that maximise visitors’ enjoyment of the permanent exhibition,” said the Leonardo da Vinci Galleries at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.
CLIENT: National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, https://www.museoscienza.org/en