This is the time of year when lumbering, yellow school buses dot the highways, filled with pumped children who don't have to sit in a classroom that day, on their way to a museum, game, or park. Field trips were always exciting events that happened toward the end of the school year, when both teachers and students are at wits end and holding their breath for summer vacation. It just seemed appropriate that Cristina and Ben, and Fred and I planned a field trip to the Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque to see the Da Vinci exhibit, along with all the other kids. And there were a lot of kids, but to the credit of museum staff and many volunteers, the groups were organized, drilled on etiquette, and sent into the wider world of wonders that the museum currently offers.
We went to learn more about Leonardo Da Vinci and his incredible work. Naturally, the Mona Lisa was prominently featured. Thanks to Lumiere multi-spectral digitization, at 240 megapixels, varnish that has yellowed and distorted the original colors can be removed, revealing the original paint as seen using different light spectrums. The eyebrows and eyelashes are no longer apparent in the original painting. Here are variations on a theme of the Mona Lisa's eyes.
Pascal Cotte created the Lumiere Technology, and used it to analyze and photograph every part of the painting, including the hands shown here. The technology is fascinating.
But there was so much more to Da Vinci than I can even grasp. A seemingly perfect balance of art and science occupied Da Vinci's incredible brain. Ideas flowed like an arroyo during a summer thunderstorm, and his interests were endless. From the Citta Ideale or Ideal City, the concept for which came forth after the plague of 1484...
...to the many flying machines and parachutes that he rendered and conceptualized...
...Da Vinci continually created, built, wrote (mirror image and in Old Florentine), and painted. To me, some of his most ground-breaking and amazing work were his anatomical studies, including his pen and ink drawing of the Vitruvian Man. The Man demonstrated the "ideal" proportions of the human body as described by the Roman architect Vitruvius.
Here is one of Da Vinci's drawings of the human arm and shoulder musculature.
What would the day be without a selfie in the Stanza degli Specchi (mirror room)?
There is no one like Da Vinci to open one's mind and get the imagination rolling. I would highly recommend visiting the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque to see Da Vinci, The Genius. It runs through July 29. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org/visitors/hours-and-admission
Take a field trip this week!
until next Monday,
a passion for the image@
Keywords: blacks crossing photography, daryl a. black, leonardo da vinci, new mexico, new mexico museum of natural history, painting, photography, taos
This is a trip we must make. Da Vinci was certainly a genius whose breadth of exploration has few rivals. I'm crawling through Walter Isaacson's Da Vinci right now. One is overwhelmed by page 20.
I'm fascinated by Cotte's Lumiere Technology. Are the hands depicted here rendered in Da Vinci's original colors?
Your photos are the perfect digital collection of discoveries, memories and pure visual delights.
And more than a few of your images are better than the real objects!
What about the dinos, bugs, snakes and the search for ice cream?
How exciting! A field trip for grownups! You have a wonderful way of looking at things, Daryl. Wonderful observations about the DaVinci exhibition. I think that most creative people have various avenues for creating. It's almost like their main creative pursuit spills over into other things, somehow fulfilling a need within themselves to diversify. Did you remember to take a sack lunch? :)
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