Christian Gálvez opens the doors of the Palacio de las Alhajas in Madrid to show us the exhibition that awaits inside: Leonardo da Vinci: the faces of the genius. The exhibition, which opened at the end of last November and will be open until May 19, is curated by the presenter. Going through its halls and corridors with Gálvez turns out to be an enigmatic adventure.
The new Leonardo of the Palace of the Jewelry
"Here we meet a Leonardo who we plucked that patina of genius, we lowered him to the floor of that pedestal, we put 'face to face' and present the man of flesh and blood. I think it's much more interesting than the genius, "Galvez tells us.
The biggest novelty for the visitor is that here you will have the opportunity to observe the Tavola Lucana, a portrait that meets all the conditions to be the representation of the face of the Florentine master. The mysterious canvas discovered by the historian Nicola Barbatelli in 2009, which can be admired for the first time in Spain, shows us the most human face of Leonardo. "A guy who finally ended up asking forgiveness from God and the men because his work, he said, did not have the quality he should have had," says the presenter.
The representations of the characters that accompanied the genius during his life, his manuscripts or the reconstructions of some of his machines, are other surprises that this sample located in the center of Madrid.
New ways to tell
Another innovation apart from the 'what' is the 'how'to tell it. One of Leonardo's most representative works, The Last Supper, has its own room where the audiovisual plays a key role. "We have the talent of James Rhodes who has played a kind of DJ to show us from the musical environment a three-dimensional interpretation of this mural painting. Above all, focusing on a very particular thing: the face and the physiognomy. Leonardo intended to demonstrate the state of mind through facial features, "says Gálvez.
New technologies also play a fundamental role. The sample has own app that, in addition to the main information of the exhibition and personalized audio guide, allows to see contents in mixed and augmented reality. A simple smartphone allows you to virtually handle the machines designed by the Italian artist and see in detail how they work. "What we want through new technologies is to generate how Leonardo could study art and science today, in the 21st century. Giving it that gamification patina too to attract, from a museological and museographic point of view, younger visitors ", says the curator of the exhibition.
Leonardo, Christian and the critics
The Spanish Committee of History of Art (CEHA), the main Spanish association of art historians, recently accused Christian Galvez of "professional intrusion", considering that his popularity had been taken into account and not his preparation to curate the exhibition of the Palace of the Jewelry "There are people who tell Leonardo's life in one way, I tell another, no better or worse. I present the history of man and not of genius, "explains Christian, who has already published several books about the Italian master. Leonardo da Vinci: face to face, allowed him to be appointed member of Leonardo DNA Project as specialist in Leonardo Da Vinci, so he will go to the exhumation, the recovery of his DNA and the facial reconstruction of the painter.
"In the Renaissance, polymaty and multidiscipline were valued very much, in the 21st century it is quite complicated, I write and present, and they say'ya, but choose a'. I think there are people who waste their time criticizing the good and the bad that others do, instead of generating content. What I do makes me a better person, a better professional and above all things, it makes me happier" Gálvez is resounding at this point.
When you pose to Christian the possibility of being 'face to face' with the genius and being able to address him, it is clear: "I would not try to be selfish, I think I would do a heroic act of generosity and, instead of asking something to know, I would thank him. Thanks for that, despite feeling noted by certain sectors of the academy of his time, he never gave up. Thanks for the curiosity, for the observation, for the sacrifice, for that perseverance and, above all things, for the passion ".
The presenter has already told several times the personal experience that aroused his curiosity about da Vinci: "A kind of Stendhal Syndrome that I had with a group of children with Down syndrome" one November 2009 in Milan in the Holy Church Maria delle Grazie And interestingly, it is this "desire to know" that identifies him, according to him, with the Italian teacher. "The greatness of Leonardo is that he never stopped being a child who constantly wondered why and for what. I think that all of us who are curious about something are getting very close to Leonardo ", concludes Gálvez.