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Da Vinci in Dubai: An Exhibition

Yes really, not the real thing, but 85 Da Vinci exhibits that make up an international traveling exhibition are currently on show at the Burjuman Shopping Centre, located in Bur Dubai’s Khalid bin Walid road. The Da Vinci Exhibition is on the first floor, just in front of Saks 5th Avenue and Massimo Dutti.

I found the quite detailed blurb under the life size scanned paintings very informative and interesting, Da Vinci didn’t bother finishing colouring in Mona Lisa’s dress, that’s why it appears to be a reddish brown, the undercolour of many details in his paintings. He was extraordinarily interested in physiology and apparently the shape of Mona Lisa’s lips were based on his own. Some art historians go further and say he based much of Mona Lisa’s face on his own.

Mona Lisa first and second

But as well as his range of now iconic paintings in elaborate frames, there are a variety of scale models based on his drawings of war machines and flying apparatus. The models are accurate reproductions made with materials available at the time, such as wood, cotton and brass. A rotating 16 arm gun set on a boat platform would have been a formidable weapon had it reached the production line. Da Vinci was a product designer extraordinaire of his day as well as being a master artist, inventor and pioneer.

The exhibition has been staged in conjunction with the Leornardo Da Vinci museum in Florence, Italy and has already traveled the globe but is on show for the first time in the Middle East, I came across it by accident, but it’s well worth a visit, even though it has been deemed “suitable for shopping malls” Leaflets of the exhibition are available from the concierge desk nearest the exhibition but were not on display, you have to ask for them if you want one. The exhibition runs till the 5th of December.

Article courtesy of Monica Kapila of

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