“L’altra tela di Leonardo”: exhibition in Caraglio

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At the Filatoio di Caraglio from 5th October 2019 to 16th February 2020 Leonardo’s brilliant inventions in textile machines.

The History

On the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Red Filatoio Foundation took the opportunity to produce an exhibition that highlights the artist’s ingenuity in the development and invention of devices and machines for one of the predominant activities of his time, the textile art.

The exhibition, divided into 3 sections, aims to be an effective tool for understanding and disseminating Leonardo’s inventions through 3D reconstructions, multimedia devices, blow-ups, video projections, immersive installations.

The Tuscan genius took care of the development and invention of devices and machines for one of the predominant activities of his time and at the Filatoio di Caraglio the public will be able to see the reproduction of his drawings and the (real) machines complete with those devices on which his mind concentrated, with a noticeable impact on silk production for over two hundred years.

Leonardo was impressed, in particular, by the circular silk twisting machine and dedicated many of his drawings to study their movements with incredible variations. The Filatoio was faithfully reconstructed two full-scale, perfectly functional and unique. The circular silk cutter was an almost unique event in the history of technology and industry: we need to get to steam, or electronics to have comparable flow transformations.

The two circular twisting machines, faithfully reconstructed in the Filatoio di Caraglio on a real scale, perfectly functional and unique, exist all over the world, becoming the starting point for the construction of an original and unrepeatable exhibition project, which allows the representation of the many drawings of the Master from life : designs that reflect the movements of the same machines with incredible variations that were immediately adopted by the workers at the time with a significant impact on the production of silk for over two hundred years.

The exhibition

The exhibition is divided into 3 sections:

  • A multimedia one, which occupies the first three rooms: through engaging video installations, the visitor discovers the artist’s ingenuity in the development and invention of devices and machines for textile art.
  • In the second section, with a particularly scenographic set-up that evokes the mechanisms of the cogwheels present in Leonardo’s drawings, you can admire the wooden models of some machines he designed, including the automatic mechanical weaving loom.
  • The third section is spread over the three floors of the Silk Museum: from the “ Incannatoio” to the Baratroni, passing through the rooms of the large circular Torcitoi, Leonardo’s studies on improving the mechanisms and automatisms that make up the entire silk thread production process.

In Leonardo’s manuscripts appear some riddles and among them one entitled “The silk spinning wheel”.

Leonardo not only knows the circular silk twisting machines but is fascinated by it, so much is the sense of power and harmony that captivates the observer of the functioning of this intricate interpenetration of mechanisms, whose design is centuries old.

The Leonardo’s inventions visible in the Museum are:

  • he movement of the coming and going of the thread (zetto), which allowed to make the torsion more uniform and multiplied the production at the same time;
  • the cloth movement (circular sectors) with counterweight to ensure adherence to the spindles from the inside;
  • the shape of the “drawer” containing the water entering the hydraulic wheels, the multi-spool shaft with the collective thread distributor in the groove and others.

With the curatorship of Prof. Crippa and arch. Toselli, who studied, designed and created the reconstruction of all the machines in the Piedmontese Silk Museum, the exhibition aims to be an effective tool for understanding and disseminating Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions. The exhibition avails itself of the precious collaboration of the Museum of Science and Technology of Milan, the Textile Museum of Prato, the Leonardo Museum of Vinci and the Abegg Museum of Garlate.

Next to the exhibition project, with the collaboration of Kalatà projects to make culture, the Filatoio Foundation is working on a program of audience development activities to involve those groups of public identified through the “Open 2017” project: families with children, the students of the schools of all levels and the local public.

The exhibition is promoted by the Red Filatoio Foundation and by the Municipality of Caraglio in co-production with the Artea Foundation, and was created with the contribution of the CRT Foundation, CRC Foundation and Banca di Caraglio. Finally it is included in the initiatives carried out on the occasion of Leonardo’s celebrations which will be communicated on the website www.leonardoatorino.it by Turismo Torino with the collaboration of the Association of Museums Subscription.

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“L’altra tela di Leonardo. Le geniali invenzioni nelle macchine tessili"

Opening hours:
from Thursday to Saturday
from 2.30pm to 7pm
Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 7pm
The ticket price is € 9 full, € 6 reduced
Special price for schools and groups € 5.