Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

The wonders of Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius await you at Biltmore now through February 20, 2023.

Five centuries after his death, Leonardo da Vinci still captivates our imagination with his remarkable discoveries and creations.

Learn more about the man, the mysteries, and his masterpieces with this immersive exhibition created and produced by Grande Experiences and hosted on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

An Enigmatic Life

Details of Da Vinci's Madonna with Carnation painting
The Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius exhibition includes stunning projections of his artwork like the details of “Madonna with Carnation” show here.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Leonardo, son of ser Piero from Vinci) was born out of wedlock in Vinci, Italy, 20 miles outside of Florence.

He would change the world, becoming an artist, scientist, inventor, musician, philosopher, and more. Beyond his astonishing body of work, however, existed a fascinating person who remains enigmatic to this day. Despite the more than 7,000 pages of sketches, notes, and lists he left behind, the personal life of Leonardo da Vinci is shadowed by mystery.  

An Artistic Legend

Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy

Da Vinci’s artistic talents first emerged in childhood. After receiving a basic education in reading, writing, and mathematics, at 14 years old he began an apprenticeship with the famous Florentine painter and sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio. By the age of 20, Da Vinci joined other notable artists in the guild of Saint Luke.

A constant tinkerer, Da Vinci experimented with different mediums and techniques such as using his palm and fingers along with a brush to create three-dimensional effects. Prolific even into middle age, in his mid-forties to early fifties Da Vinci painted Last Supper and Mona Lisa. The former became one of the most reproduced works of art in the world; the latter, one of the most iconic. 

A Scientific Trailblazer

A model of a tank created by Leonardo da Vinci
Replicas of the machine models created by Leonardo da Vinci are included in the exhibit at Biltmore, “Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius.” Now on display at Amherst at Deerpark. Photo credit: The Biltmore Company.

Insatiably inquisitive, there seemed to be no area of study in which Da Vinci did not maintain an interest. Skilled in left-brain talents as well as right, the artist pursued projects in botany, geology, architecture, aviation, physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, zoology, anatomy, and more.

Centuries ahead of their time and written in precise detail, Da Vinci’s sketches depict inventions such as the helicopter, an armored tank, a calculator, a lifebelt, and various bridge designs.

Replica of Da Vinci's paddle boat design
This replica of a paddle boat design by Da Vincie is included in the immersive, multi-sensory exhibition hosted at Biltmore now through February 20, 2023.

His notes contain theoretical suppositions describing plate tectonics, hydrodynamics, and industrial machinery. Da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man, based upon the work of the Roman architect Vitruvius, bridged art and science by illustrating the proportions of the human body with blueprint-like clarity.

Leonardo da Vinci and George Vanderbilt: Kindred Spirits

Immersive aspects of the Da Vinci exhibition hosted at Biltmore
Now through February 20, 2023, immerse yourself in the wonders of “Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius”, created and produced by Grande Experiences and hosted on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

One could say that George Vanderbilt and Leonardo da Vinci would have enjoyed each other’s company had they not been born more than 400 years apart.

Both possessed a love of learning, boundless curiosity, a dedication to art, a commitment to innovation–even a shared love of wine, with Da Vinci accepting a vineyard near Milan as payment for his masterpiece Last Supper, and Vanderbilt known as a thoughtful collector of wine.

Now, the two remarkable men come together at Biltmore during the one-of-a-kind immersive, multi-sensory experience, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the third installment in the well-received Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore series.

Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius
Guests enjoying aspects of the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius, hosted at Biltmore.

Set to a Renaissance-inspired soundtrack of classical music, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 years of Genius will envelop you in more than 3,000 images of the Italian polymath’s masterpieces, inventions, notes, sketches, and personal reflections.

You’ll also see replicas of some of Da Vinci’s amazing machines and models. Don’t miss this must-see exhibition hosted at Biltmore’s Amherst at Deerpark® venue now–February 20, 2023.

Plan a Blue Ridge Mountain Escape at Biltmore!

Couple hiking in Biltmore's 8,000-acre backyard
Plan your Blue Ridge Mountain escape at Biltmore today!

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Biltmore and extend your visit with a reservation at one of our hotels or private historic cottages. In addition to discovering Da Vinci, you can enhance your stay with a complimentary wine tasting at the Winery in Antler Hill Village, a wide range of outdoor activities, shopping, dining, and so much more!


Featured image: Images of Mona Lisa as part of Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

New Exhibition Series: Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore

Immerse yourself in our new exhibition series, Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore—featuring three different large-scale, multi-sensory experiences—hosted at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate.

Created and produced by Grande Experiences, each individual component of this must-see series uses the very latest in immersive technology to illuminate the remarkable lives of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci and their timeless masterpieces of art and design.

In addition, each of the three events offers fascinating ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures on display in Biltmore House, his magnificent family home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Van Gogh Alive
November 5, 2021–March 5, 2022

Van Gogh Alive multi-sensory experience
A guest explores Van Gogh Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences

The masterworks of Vincent van Gogh have been displayed around the world for over a century, but never like this.

Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself the masterful paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Van Gogh and Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt share a Dutch heritage that will be highlighted at the estate during this period.

Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Color
March 9–July 10, 2022

Monet & Friends multi-sensory exhibition
Explore Monet’s masterpieces throughout the Monet & Friends experience

An homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, this multi-sensory experience explores not only the paintings themselves but the history of the Impressionist movement amid the social and political turbulence of the era.

It transports you back to a time when European art was poised to change forever, and immerses you in the Impressionists’ masterworks as they come to life in a rich display of light, color, and sound.

Breathtaking paintings are projected on an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and more.

While Monet & Friends Life, Light & Color is on display at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate, two original Monet paintings from George Vanderbilt’s personal collection will be displayed inside America’s Largest Home®.

Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius
July 14, 2022–January 8, 2023

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius experience
Discover marvels of art and invention with Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius

Inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, musician, architect, philosopher—Leonardo da Vinci was all of these things.

His brilliance and many extraordinary achievements are brought to vivid life in Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the world’s most comprehensive and thrilling Leonardo da Vinci experience.

Biltmore will be showcasing links to estate architecture and artwork in our collection that are influenced by da Vinci’s designs.

Don’t miss our Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore exhibition series!

Van Gogh Alive exhibition
Explore our Van Gogh Alive exhibition now–March 5, 2022

Each of the three Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore multi-sensory experiences will be hosted at Amherst at Deerpark®, our event center on the grounds of the estate.

Plan your visit to Van Gogh Alive, Monet & Friends and Leonardo da Vinci now, and enhance your experience with special overnight offers at our distinctive hotels and historic cottages.