The Florence Biennale

The Florence Biennale is the major contemporary art exhibition in Florence where it is regarded as an outstanding showcase of the international contemporary art production. During the last edition which was attended by more than 10.000 visitors, there were 460 artists participating from 72 countries, held under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Tuscany Region, and Municipality of Florence.


The Florence Biennale & artists

The Florence Biennale has been providing participating artists with an extraordinary intercultural and interdisciplinary experience over the last twenty years. In recognition of this commitment, the Florence Biennale has been included in the program “Dialogue between civilizations” by the United Nations in 2001 and has obtained the patronage of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO in 2017.

Within the framework of the Florence Biennale, each participating artist competes for the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Awards, conferred by an International Jury to the best exhibiting artists for their works on show, as well as for several Artist Residencies and other Special Awards. The “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Awards are conferred to individuals and/or organisations who have reached pinnacles of artistic achievement and/or stood out for their contribution to culture: Marina Abramović, David Hockney, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Gilbert & George, Anish Kapoor, El Anatsui are among the recipients in the past editions.

XIIth Florence Biennale 2019

During October 2019, the XIIth Florence Biennale 2019 will take place at the historical Fortezza da Basso. Engaging participating artists and visitors in a rich programme of artistic and cultural activities. Aside from the main exhibition, there will be collateral events, workshops, conferences, and lectures relating to the new edition’s theme of the new edition, which is related to the 500th Anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death: Ars et Ingenium – Toward Leonardo da Vinci’s Legacy of Similitude and Invention.


‘In anticipation of the fifth centenary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in 2019, the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Florence will reflect on the cognitive and creative approach of the great master of the Renaissance who is regarded as unsurpassed genius.’ Dr. Melanie Zefferino, Curator of the XIIth Florence Biennale

Leonardo da Vinci

Ars et Ingenium

The theme of the XIIth Florence Biennale will focus on Leonardo da Vinci’s multifaceted being: an outstanding artist, he was also ‘scientist’ committed to exploring nature in order to grasp the knowledge spanning different disciplines of comparative anatomy, botany, geology, physics, and intertwining cosmology with his studies on light and more besides.

Considering Leonardo as an extraordinary exemplum for contemporary creativity, the XIIth Florence Biennale considers how by

‘joining art practice and ‘scientific’ research with experimentation , he challenged the long held distinction that had long been made between artes mechanicae and artes liberales. Through this he ennobled the visual arts, especially painting, which in his view was ‘science and legitimate daughter of nature’. Like music and geometry, according to Leonardo, painting was based on the laws of harmony since, according to Leonardo ‘it considers all continuous quantities, the qualities of the proportions of shadow and lights, and distances through its [science of ] perspective’’ Dr. Melanie Zefferino, Curator of the XIIth Florence Biennale

Florence Biennale


Leonardo da Vinci’s work, which has been considered a source of inspiration for many for over five centuries. Will now be reinterpreted in a variety of ways by many contemporary artists at different career stages and with different cultural backgrounds, interests, and talents who will participate in the XIIth Florence Biennale.

ASN and the EpiLab team are honored to be part of this wonderful event with the artistic project EpiMimesis Shifting Identities. Juliette Harvey is the Project Coordinator for the participation of this project at the XIIth Florence Biennale.


XIIth Florence Biennale

18–27 October 2019

Fortezza da Basso, Florence – Italy