To the curiosity of bystanders, the six-metre-tall structure was recently revealed ahead of the exhibition presenting Leonardo’s work on botany, scheduled to open on September 13 in the Santa Maria Novella museum. The 12-sided shape invites viewers to reflect on the many interests of Leonardo, his passion for botany and observing nature, as well as on the nature of life itself.
It is hoped that the project will elicit reflections on the relationship between science and nature, particularly in regards to health and sustainability. As explained by Valentino Mercati, founder and president of international pharmaceutical company Aboca, who are collaborating on this project, the mulberry tree “represents the mysteries of nature” and was one of Leonardo’s favourite plants. The dodecahedron, on the other hand, represented the entire universe for the ancient Greeks and the Renaissance Neoplatonists.
At the opening ceremony of the installation, Mayor Dario Nardella commented on how the work adds to the renewal of the “tradition of Florence as a natural place of public art and symbolizes the spread of new ideas” and how “thanks to Leonardo we are ready to reinvent the Florence of the future”.