We took the boys, and their friend, Ewan, to the Da Vinci exhibition yesterday morning.

The Da Vinci – The Genius exhibition is a travelling exhibition of part of a collection that seems to have been around the world. 75 of his designs have been reproduced using similar materials to what would have been available at the time he drew the designs. Those were on display as well as replicas of some of his art. Most of the machines were just on display… but about 10 of them were interactive… and you were able to move them etc. There were also 2 touchscreens that were available… but there was such a queue to use them, that the kids got bored and moved on, which is a pity because I reckon that would have been worthwhile to scroll through.

Not all the machines in this photo are in the Johannesburg exhibition, but it gives you an idea of what you can see.

One of the biggest features of the exhibition is a study of the Mona Lisa. I think this was my favourite part of the exhibition, partly because of my love of photography, and a fascination with the Mona Lisa.

From the press release: … on display are different versions of the Mona Lisa as photographed by Pascal Cotte.  Pascal engineered a high definition camera and was allowed exclusive access to the painting to photograph.  Through his findings, he has discovered the 25 secrets of the Mona Lisa which are revealed at the exhibition.

The display included various photographs he’d taken in infrared etc, and with the photos he was able to show where there was damage to the artwork, as well as what restoration had taken place. I loved seeing his interpretation, based on his photos, of the original colours of the painting. I was also fascinated by the replica of the painting… it’s bigger than I thought it was. The plank of wood it’s painted on, is also amazingly thick… not sure what I thought it was painted on 😉 I’ve never been into art history! LOL!

Bradley’s favourite part of the exhibition were the machines/things he designed for wars. The tank in particular was fascinating to see. He also loved seeing the flying machines.

Connor’s favourite part was definitely the interactive machines that he could move levers and turn handles.

I felt rushed in the exhibition, because there were so many people in there, especially on the interactive displays… because there weren’t that many of them. And Connor was driving me nutty… the guide says from age of 6… but he can’t read properly, and something majorly scientific is not going to keep his attention for long, it’s too complicated. It’s completely lost on young kids.

Honestly, if I hadn’t been given 2 tickets to the exhibition, we probably wouldn’t have gone… especially with the kids. I know it’s an international exhibition and it’s interesting, but I found the ticket prices more than excessive for an exhibition that takes less than an hour to go through. Tickets are R140 for adults and R90 for kids. That price does NOT include the cost of the audio guides which are an extra R40 per person!!  Oh and you also have to pay for parking.

Disclaimer: I was given 2 tickets to the exhibition. I wasn’t allowed to use my camera, so for the first time EVER the images were taken off other websites.