The manuscripts of Leonardo reveal the astounding effort he dedicated to acquiring knowledge in all the most advanced fields of scientific inquiry. Toward this goal he not only engaged in campaigns of penetrating observation and brilliant experimentation, but also procured and read an enormous quantity of books by classical, medieval, and contemporary authors. His attraction to books was so strong as to compel him to accumulate a huge personal library of more than 200 printed books and manuscripts, despite his preferred self-description as an “unlettered man”.

The exhibition demonstrates Leonardo’s love for books by investigating his creative approach to reading. Even when reading the most authoritative experts, Leonardo never assimilates information passively. He is stimulated instinctively to a beneficial doubt, and his blazing intuition makes connections between diverse and apparently unrelated phenomena.

From Leonardo the reader shines forth the mind of the Universal Man.