A little-known aspect of Leonardo da Vinci will come to light in the exhibition organized for the 500th anniversary of his death: his work as a cosmetologist and perfumer, dedicated to the creation of fragrances and cosmetics. A reconstruction of the lively network of exchanges between the major Renaissance courts enables us to share experiments and cosmetic recipes between Leonardo and the most important female figures of the time.
The exhibition will also highlight the pioneering recipes for depilatory ointments, snail slime creams and hair dyes. Also the hairstyles were influenced by Leonardo: the “Da Vinci knots” are found in many paintings in which hairstyles are enriched with jewels, nets and perfumed fabrics.
At the court of Ludovico il Moro in Milan, Leonardo organized parties, designed clothes and costumes, as well as inventing fabrics, jewels and perfumes. The exhibition will highlight the link between Milan and Venice: two places where the use of perfuming was widespread and hairdressers commonly sold cosmetics and perfumes. A specific role in the service of the court was dedicated to a “magister of perfumes”, who procured for ladies little phials of mixtures for bleaching the hair, a very popular fashion in Venice.
The project has been conceived by the scholar Maria Pirulli and carried out by Cosmetica Italia – National association of cosmetic companies and Accademia del Profumo, in collaboration with Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna.
Location: Mocenigo Palace, Venice
Opening: from May 3 to September 20, 2019
Hours: 10.30 am – 5 pm / Closed on Mondays
Ticket: up to € 8