Original works of the three Italian Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, will go on display at the Eriksbergshallen in Gothenburg, Sweden, from March 20 until August 15. Don’t worry if you aren’t likely to wind up in Sweden between those dates. After the debut show, it’s going on the road. The dates aren’t established yet, but the exhibit, called “And There Was Light“, is expected to tour the world for 8 years.
This is the first time works from all three men, considered the traditional trinity of the Old Masters, will be on tour together. Usually they each get their own exhibitions because they’re virtually guaranteed to generate huge crowds, so this show is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal. Most of the 50 original Renaissance masterpieces are in private collections. They’ve never or rarely been exhibited in public before.
The sections of the exhibition cover different periods of time. The three masters are presented on the basis of what they did in each period, where they worked and how they competed as rivals for commissions and attention. Other important Renaissance individuals and their works or actions also figure in the exhibition.
Everything is illustrated in an educational yet exciting manner using modern technology, multimedia, models of well-known sculptures, reproductions of works of art and three-dimensional models of inventions and buildings etc.
One section contains famous original works of art (paintings, sculptures and drawings) from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A few original works of art by later artists who were inspired by the three masters are also shown here.
During their lifetimes the three men had a fierce rivalry, fighting for commissions. Michelangelo hated Leonardo and when Raphael moved to Rome and Pope Julius II gave him a commission right away while he kept Michelangelo waiting, Michelangelo started hating Raphael too.
Raphael’s penchant for, let’s just say, “finding inspiration” from his rivals pissed Michelangelo off even more. Years after Raphael died, Michelangelo was still calling him a plagiarist in his letters.
There will also be workshops held at the exhibition hall, where visitors will be able to sculpt and paint while rubbing shoulders with the Renaissance greats.
A team of international luminaries put the exhibit together, led by Francesco Buranelli, director of the Vatican museums, and renown da Vinci expert Alessandro Vezzosi. The latter is the man who first attributed the recently-surfaced “La Bella Principessa” painting to Leonardo da Vinci. La Bella Principessa is part of the exhibit, in fact, in its debut showing as a Leonardo.