Exhibition: Leonardo da Vinci and Perpetual Motion: Visualising Impossible Machines

This exhibition runs from Wed, 6th Feb 2019 to Tue, 12th Mar 2019. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

This exhibition has finished.

Cost: Free of Charge

Can one have perpetual motion? The search for the perfect machine, which would work with total efficiency and be self-sufficient ad infinitum, occupied natural philosophers and engineers from the Middle Ages onwards. Leonardo has a central place in this story. His designs of perpetual motion machines are intriguing applications of his understanding of the laws of motion and mechanics, expressing an important side of his multifaceted experiments in art, science and engineering.

The quest proved impossible in the nineteenth century with studies of thermodynamics, yet Leonardo is the first to state its impossibility. This exhibition explores new ways of analysing, reconstructing and contextualising Leonardo’s designs.

Key drawings from his notebooks are featured alongside animated images and virtual models, as well as placed in the wider context of his oeuvre with tools for comparative scrutiny and reasoning. At stake is what state-of-the art technology can contribute towards our understanding of visual works and thinking processes in the fields of art and science.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


The Peltz Gallery,

Birkbeck, School of Arts,
43 Gordon Square,

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