Full Professor in Modern Art History, he teaches Modern Art History and Museology in the Politecnico of Milan. Member of the Design Ph.D Professor Team. He has been Director of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici and Vice-Director of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, co-Director of the restoration campaign of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. He is President of the Ente Raccolta Vinciana, founded 1904, in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan. He is member of the Commissione Nazionale Vinciana, founded 1903, in Rome, and was member of the National Committee for the celebration of the anniversary of Leonardo’s death ( 1519-2019 ), in this year he curated various exhibitions on Leonardo in Amboise, Milan, Parma, Rome, Bologna and Vinci. He has written more than two-hundred essays and books on Leonardo da Vinci, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, the Lombard artists of the Renaissance: Ambrogio Bergognone, Bramantino, Bernardino Luini, and on the painting and the architecture of Italian Renaissance, and, finally, on problems of museology and restoration. He wrote also on contemporary artists: Peter Greenaway, Igor Mitoraj, Gary Stephens, Alessandro Papetti, Agostino Arrivabene, Medhat Shafik etc. He collaborated to the catalogue of the works of art preserved in Milanese Museums: Pinacoteca di Brera, Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Quadreria dell’Arcivescovado. He was the curator of the catalogue of paintings kept in the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, and of the works of art in the Certosa Museum, Pavia ( with B.Fabjan ). He has studied unpublished works by Verrocchio, Cesare da Sesto, Sodoma, Andrea Solario, Giampietrino, Pietro Antonio Magatti e Giuseppe Bossi. He has published the Catalogue of the Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and His Circle kept in French Public Museums ( 2008 ). He has collaborated to the two important exhibitions devoted to Leonardo Drawings and manuscripts held in the Metropolitan Museum in New York ( 2003 ) and in the Musée du Louvre, Paris ( 2003 ). He has organized and curated various exibithions in many important cities ( Montreal, Musée des Beaux-arts; Venice, Palazzo Grassi; Milan, Palazzo Reale; Milan, Castello Sforzesco; Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera; Florence, Palazzo Pitti; Rome, Palazzo del Quirinale; Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana; Rome, Musei Capitolini; Florence, Casa Buonarroti; Tokyo, The Art Museum; Parma, Pinacoteca Nazionale ). Some of his books are translated in eight languages. He was the curator ( with M.T.Fiorio ) of the Milan Palazzo Reale Show “Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519. The Design of the World” held in 2015 at the occasion of the Universal Exhibition. He lectured in many important Institutions: The Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, the National Gallery in London, The Musée du Louvre in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum in New York and in many Universities in Italy and abroad.
Title: Leonardo’s Colour today: from the dark to the light.
Abstract: For a long time Leonardo has been considered a “ chiaroscurista” Painter: this definition was formulated by Eugéne Muentz at the end of ninenteenth century ( 1899 ) when his paintings were compared, according to the taste of the Romantic era, to those ones by Rembrandt. Furthermorethe diffusion of the images of his paintings through the first photographs of mid-ninetheenth century and the bad reproductions in popular books until a few decades ago did contribute to the idea that he was not familiar with colours and this concept also prevailed in art criticism of the first half of the twenthieth century. Despite being well known that Leonardo dealt extensively with colours, light and coloured reflections in his Treatise on Painting and particularly on Colours Perspective, we have to wait the radical changes in art criticism caused by the important restorations which took place at the end of the last century, first of all the restoration of the Last Supper painted in “a secco” technique ( not in fresco technique ) in the Refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. This restoration lasted almost twenty years ( 1977-1999 ) and revealed the true colours of the composition remained covered under many layers of repaints for five centuries that produced ( together with the effect of alteration and pollution ) a very dark look of the painting. The restoration of the Adoration of the Magiat the Uffizi in Florence, in these last years, always considered to be a monochromatic painting, has revealed, in turn, to be an unfinished coloured painting as it is the Sainte Anne in the Louvre, which appears indeed, after recent cleaning, in all its subtlety of colour passages. Even the Leonardo’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisaat the Louvre, should appear richly coloured, and not dark and yellowish, if a very light cleaning should be tempted to improve its look.