In the footsteps of Leonardo.
In the first English-language scholarly account of the finds, Carmen C. Barnbach reviews the evidence for the location of Leonardo's studios in Florence during this period. She argues that although such archaeological and biographical research may be unfashionable with art historians, it can add greatly to our knowledge of the artist.
The news of the discovery of remains of mural paintings and their identification with Leonardo's living quarters at the convent of Santissima Annunziata in Florence has led to wide coverage in the popular press, particularly during January and February of this year. (1) The news, however, appears to have been greeted with near-silence in the scholarly community. While, in my opinion, the recently identified mural remains may, in the end, have little, if any connection at all, to the paintings of Leonardo and his bottega (workshop) assistants, their fascinating but almost unknown architectural context within one of the greatest ecclesiastical building complexes of medieval and renaissance Florence, (2) which I was privileged to study during two comprehensive visits, is worthy of serious consideration.
As this article will attempt to demonstrate, there is good reason to pursue further historical research regarding Leonardo's ties to the conventual community of the Servite order at the Santissima Annunziata. This period was a turning point in the great master's career, bracketed by his return to Florence in 1500 (after an absence of nearly seventeen years as court artist to Ludovico Sforza 'Il Moro' in Milan), and by the award of his first mature civic artistic commission in Florence in 1503, the Battle of Anghiari mural for the Sala del Gran Consiglio in the Palazzo della Signoria (Fig. 1).
The monumental convent of the Santissima Annunziata stretches along the modern Via Cesare Battisti (the entrance to the convent is today at no. 6), leading to the church of the Santissima Annunziata, also known as Santa Maria de' Servi or Nunziata, on the east, and to the Piazza of San Marco on the west (Fig. 2). A drawing in the Uffizi from around 1500-1504 by Fra Bartolomeo, who became one of Leonardo's most immediate admirers soon after his arrival in Florence in 1500 and who was exactly twenty years younger than the great master, portrays the convent, church, and piazza of the Santissima Annunziata in a view taken eastward from San Marco, the neighbouring Dominican convent, where the frate himself resided (Fig. 3). (3)
Fra Bartolomeo's drawing shows the open site before the construction of the Sapienza (Universita degli Studi) on the west, and, most importantly, the original side entrance of the convent. (4) Other significant visual evidence regarding the general evolution of the Annunziata site can be obtained from the Codice Rustici, compiled by Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici in 1447-48 and 1451-53 (folio 11 recto, Seminario Arcivescovile del Cestello, Florence); (5) a late-fifteenth-century painted veduta (private collection, London); (6) the imposing map of the city of Florence published by Fra Stefano Buonsignori in 1584 (Fig. 4); (7) and an anonymous early- seventeenth-century architect's survey drawing (Conventi Soppressi 119, b 1268, folio 1 recto, Archivio di Stato, Florence). (8)
The recently discovered mural remains are in portions of the west and north wings of the second cloister, sometimes called the Chiostro Chiuso to distinguish it from the more famous Chiostro dei Morti (or first cloister), the location of Andrea del Sarto's fresco of the Madonna del Sacco (Fig. 2). These are portions of the building complex that were virtually unknown until the publication of detailed physical surveys by Roberto Manescalchi, Alessandro del Meglio and Maria Carchio during this past year. (9) The west wing in the second cloister, whose construction appears to have been begun between 1335 and 1384, (10) is today divided between the community of the Servite brothers of the Santissima Annunziata and the Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM), and this has added to its relative inaccessibility.
Part of the site of the Annunziata convent was expropriated, becoming property of the state in 1807-10, during the Napoleonic suppression of religious institutions (motions for ecclesiastical reform and suppression had already been explored between 1781 and 1799). The Istituto Topografico Militare, a predecessor of the modern IGM, was founded in the western portion of the site around 1868-72. (11) The walls that were erected to divide the ecclesiastical and state structures run somewhat jaggedly north to south along the complex, but appear clearly demarcated in the piante catastali (tax assessors' property maps) of the site from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (12) The western and northern parts of the convent, in particular, have been extensively remodelled over time; the interior spaces are today so severely fragmented that in many areas it is difficult to reconstruct their state during the quattrocento and cinquecento in any detail.
Promising new documentary research by Paola Ircani Menichini on the socio-economic context of convent life at the Santissima Annunziata has begun to shed light on the institutionalised character of the hospitality offered by the community of Servite brothers, and their management of their foresterie (friaries). (13) It has recently been proposed that Leonardo's lodgings at the Annunziata may have been within the secular friary (foresteria laica), consisting of five rooms in a row, which today look like sadly cluttered administrative offices, on the second level of the west wing. (14) This foresteria was easily accessible from the side entrance to the convent, as portrayed in Fra Bartolomeo's drawing (Fig. 3).
The most imposing of the architectural sites containing mural remains with which Leonardo's name is being associated--as an artist--is the staircase of whitewashed plaster surfaces with magnificent pietra serena details, the design of which has been attributed by Roberto Manescalchi and his colleagues to the bottega of Michelozzo. (15) Originally acting as a kind of connector of spaces, between the front parts of the convent to the south and the second cloister on the north, this staircase leads to the foresteria laica on the second level (Fig. 5). Figures 6 and 8 illustrate the remains of a monumental mural of the Annunciation, taken from the mezzanine above the second level of the staircase looking down. Toward the right is what remains of the original doorway leading to the foresteria laica on the second level; the doorway was embellished in the seicento with frescoes, and was walled-off in the nineteenth century.
The pictorial remains of The Annunciation consist of an architectural setting with landscape portrayed on the top layer of the intonaco, and the silhouette underneath of an angel on the base layer of detached plaster (the martellinatura, or hammering, on the surface was in preparation for a top layer of intonaco, or fine plaster, for painting). What is evident seems to be of very awkward workmanship, and in the late quattrocento vocabulary of the Ghirlandaio or Rosselli botteghe, rather than of the Leonardo bottega.
The upper-left portions of the mural composition portraying birds in flight (Fig. 7), for which unconvincing comparisons have been made with Leonardo's Codex Atlanticus (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan) and Codex on the Flight of Birds (Biblioteca Reale, Turin) are in the part of the building that can be reached only by leaving the present convent of the Annunziata, and entering from the Istituto Geografico Militare.
The most charming of the recently identified sites by far is on the attic level, at the extreme north of the west wing of the second cloister and also part of the premises of the [GM (Figs. 9, 10). This attic with adjoining rooms contains a wide variety of wall doodlings, including unfinished mural under-drawings in sinopia and charcoal of animated grotteschi designs of human masks, birds and foliage that have been attributed to the mysterious artist Morto da Feltre, who according to Vasari was a great specialist in this genre of painting (here, to my eye, the pictorial sensibility seems closer to that of the seicento). (16)
In view of the dearth of visual remains, one must turn to the written sources for evidence of Leonardo's historical presence at the Santissima Annunziata. A well-known, although much-debated passage of virtually identical wording in both the 1550 and 1568 editions of Giorgio Vasari's Life of Leonardo tells that when the great artist returned to Florence, 'he found that the Servite brothers had commissioned from Filippino [Lippi] the works of [painting] the panel for the high altar of the Nunziata, regarding which Leonardo said that he would be willing to do something similar. Filippino having understood this, and being the amenable person he was, withdrew [from the undertaking]; and the friars, to the end that Leonardo might paint [the panel], took him into their household (se lo tolsero in casa), covering the expenses of both him and all his kin.' (17)
Although Vasari uses the word famiglia (literally meaning family) to describe Leonardo's entourage, this term could very well also denote members of his household who were not relatives. In any case, as one knows independently, a letter written from Florence on 3 April 1501 by Fra Pietro da Novellara, who was Vicar General of the Carmelite Order, to Isabella d'Este, marchesa of Mantua (Fig. 11), alludes to two assistants of Leonardo (dui suoi garzoni) who were making copies which the great master retouched from time to time. Another letter, of 14 April 1501, also from Fra Pietro to Isabella, mentions 'Salai', who is called Leonardo's discipulo (this was the nearly twenty-year-old Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, who had arrived in Leonardo's Milanese household on 22 July 1490); this letter also seems to refer to Leonardo's greater circle of loved ones (altri suoi affectionati). (18) Vasari's biography is the only hitherto known sixteenth-century-written source to mention that Leonardo had living quarters at the Santissima Annunziata. (19)
What follows in Vasari's story has led to heated scholarly controversy. There is one noticeable difference of wording between the editions of 1550 and 1568, and a few inconsequential variations of spelling. (20) The scholarly debate need not concern one here, beyond noting the facts that, according to Vasari, Leonardo seems to have inserted himself into a project that already involved Filippino Lippi (and, on Filippino's death in 1504, that would involve Perugino), and that Leonardo re-established his fame in the city with the public exhibition of a cartoon, or full-scale drawing, that was enormously admired. It portrayed the Virgin with the Christ Child, St Anne, the Infant St John the Baptist, and a Lamb. According to Vasari, for two days, crowds of people came 'to the room' (nella stanza) to admire Leonardo's work. (21) This may have been the cartoon by Leonardo that was seen by Fra Pietro da Novellara, who carefully described it in the above-mentioned letter of 3 April 1501 to Isabella d'Este in Mantua. Leonardo's cartoon drawn at the Santissima Annunziata has not survived, and the much-discussed problem of his versions on the theme of the Virgin and Child with St Anne (Fig. 12) seems far from being resolved.
Although a detailed chronology of Leonardo's whereabouts and professional work from 1499 to 1506 is extremely difficult to reconstruct with any precision, (24) do not think that there is much point in doubting Vasari's statement that Leonardo had rooms at the Santissima Annunziata. In my opinion, two general facts about the great master's circumstances lend historical credence to the hypothesis that he may have stayed in the secular friary (the foresteria laica). First, it seems to have been Leonardo's custom to travel with retinues of people, (25) thus requiring somewhat capacious accommodation; and second, as the documents confirm, he led a near-itinerant lifestyle between 1499 and 1506 (which is often overlooked by historians). (26)
From the extant documents regarding his life, one can generally infer that, far from the romanticised picture of his successes (including that recounted by Vasari), he seems to have struggled to recover a professional status in the highly competitive art world of Florence. It could have hardly helped his reputation in the city that he had deserted two significant projects about twenty years earlier: the intended altarpiece of 1478 for the Chapel of San Bernardo at the Palazzo della Signoria, and that of 1481 of the Adoration of the Magi for the church of San Donato a Scopeto.
The extant body of dated documents regarding Leonardo's life vividly illustrates that his financial circumstances were always generally precarious, and that especially between 1499 and 1506, he seems to have embarked on a curiously nomadic existence. (27) Records of 2 October 1498 and 26 April 1499 formally refer to the gift by Ludovico Sforza 'Il Moro' to Leonardo of a vineyard in the Porta Vercellina district, an area of suburban Milan that was increasingly fashionable and prosperous, between the sites of the monastery of San Vittore and the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie (the latter being the Dominican monastic building complex containing the refectory with Leonardo's just-completed mural of the Last Supper). (29) Leonardo had most likely received the property in about 1497 as recompense for his service to the Duke, and probably in lieu of back-pay, since the coffers of 'Il Moro' were critically depleted by his disastrous war-mongering.
Leonardo's hard-won stint as a landowner was to be short-lived, however, as the city of Milan fell to the French during the autumn and early winter of 1499. 'Il Moro' was forced to free his castle in late August, making his way to Innsbruck on 2 September, and the French troops of the newly crowned king Louis XII stormed the city on 9 and 10 September under the command of Louis of Luxembourg (Count of Ligny), Stuart d'Aubigny and Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (the condottiere who would later be Leonardo's patron). Louis xu himself made his triumphal entry into the city on 6 October, and the Duchy of Milan was annexed as a French dominion by December 1499. In the face of such events, Leonardo was forced to abandon a city and a court life that to him had represented a home for nearly seventeen years, although not without first attempting to ingratiate himself with the new French regime in Milan. (30) He left his vineyard of Porta Vercellina with Pietro di Giovanni da Oreno (father of his pupil 'Salai') as tenant, but it appears to have been expropriated soon after, as many of the grants of land by 'Il Moro' were not considered to be binding by the new French regime. (31) The vineyard had been the first land Leonardo had owned: as illegitimately-born offspring, he was not assured of a paternal inheritance of kind. (32)
Between January and April 1500, before his arrival in Florence, Leonardo apparently visited Mantua, where he may have produced the famous cartoon portrait of Isabella d'Este (Musee du Louvre, Paris; Fig. 11). As sister-in-law of 'Il Moro', Isabella was not only an important patron: she had been seeking Leonardo's work since the late 1490s. By 13 March 1500, Leonardo was in Venice, where he frequented Lorenzo Gusnasco da Pavia, Isabella's lute teacher. While he was there he advised the Venetian republic on the fortifications of the Friuli region against the threat of Turkish invasion (as is recorded by Leonardo's draft of a letter of April 1500). (33) He may have stopped in Bologna: in 1500, his pupil Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio had already begun to paint there an altarpiece for the Augustinian church of the Misericordia (now Musee du Louvre, Paris), a prestigious commission from the poet Girolamo Casio's family. (34) Leonardo then seems to have gone to Rome, with a stop in Vinci, and possibly went as far south as Naples, during a mysterious trip in which he accompanied Count Louis of Ligny, as is suggested by the so-called 'Ligny Memorandum' (a list of items and persons written by Leonardo in secret code). (35)
That Florence was his intended final destination during these months of energetic wandering in early 1500 may be partly corroborated by two pieces of evidence, a substantial deposit of money on 14 December 1499 into his bank account at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence (most likely in anticipation of his return to the city), (36) and the statement in Fra Luca Pacioli's De Divina Proportione (Venice, 1509, fol. 28 verso) that Pacioli and Leonardo had left Milan together to return to Florence. (37)
By 24 April 1500, Leonardo was in Florence, and short of cash, as this is the date of his first bank transaction at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova that seems to have been conducted in person. (38) It is entirely possible that about this time he sought lodging from the Servite brothers at the Santissima Annunziata: as documents record, Leonardo's father Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci (1427-1504) had been procurator to the Santissima Annunziata since at least 20 August 1466. (39) Soon after his arrival in Florence, Leonardo was offering advice on the damages to the foundation of the church of San Salvatore dell'Osservanza (San Francesco al Monte) above Florence, a consultant's role that he had begun a few years earlier, and also on the construction of a campanile for the nearby church of San Miniato, based on a drawing by Baccio d'Agnolo. (40) Yet more importantly, as is recorded in a letter in the Gonzaga archives in Mantua of 11 August 1500, Leonardo appears to have sent the marchese Francesco II Gonzaga, husband of Isabella d'Este, his drawn copy after the existing design of the Villa of Angelo del Tovaglia near Florence; it had been built by the little-known architect Lorenzo da Monteacuto, and Francesco Gonzaga had admired it during his stay in Florence, and was seeking to replicate it in Mantua. (41)
Seen in this light, it may not be a coincidence that an earlier generation of the Gonzaga and the Del Tovaglia families had been the great players in the building of the tribuna of the church of the Santissima Annunziata, erected between 1444 and 1481, to the designs of Michelozzo, Antonio Manetti and Leon Battista Alberti. Lodovico Gonzaga, marchese of Mantua (Francesco II's grandfather), was the great patron of the tribuna from 1449 onward (by an officially notarised agreement of 7 September 1470, between Lodovico and the Servite community of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence, no one would be allowed to have a tomb in the tribuna without permission of the Gonzaga family). Piero del Tovaglia, a Florentine silk merchant, acted from 1469 onward as intermediary in the negotiations regarding the project between Florence and Mantua, legally becoming Lodovico Gonzaga's procurator in Florence in August 1470. (42) Since Leonardo appears to have been in Rome and Tivoli around 20 March 1501, (43) it is not at all surprising that in a letter of 29 March 1501, from Mantua, Isabella d'Este would inquire of Fra Pietro da Novellara in Florence, 'if Leonardo the Florentine painter is to be found there in Florence ... inform yourself what is his life like, that is, if he has begun any work'; she wondered whether Leonardo could sketch another portrait of her, because her husband Francesco had given away the previous one that Leonardo had made. (44) In the letter of 3 April 1501, Fra Pietro replied to Isabella that Leonardo was at work on the life-size cartoon (figure grande al naturale) for a Virgin and Child with St Anne and a Lamb. (45) On 14 April, Fra Pietro sent another letter to Isabella, noting that Leonardo was painting a 'little picture' (quadrettino) of the Madonna with the Yarnwinder (Madonna dei fusi). (46)
Leonardo's stay at the Santissima Annunziata, however, probably did not stretch past the spring of 1502. From May 1502 to February 1503, he was constantly on the move, producing onsite drawings and surveys of territories in Romagna, Umbria, the Marches and eastern Tuscany during his service to Cesare Borgia 'Il Valentino', captain general of the papal armies of Alexander VI. (47) From March to August 1503, Leonardo travelled extensively across western Tuscany to serve the Florentine republic as military engineer and surveyor in the war against Pisa. But, by 24 October 1503, he had found other, more permanent living arrangements in Florence, as a document of this date records that he was to receive keys to the 'Sale pape et atigue habitationem" (the chamber of the pope and other adjacent rooms), which were to serve as his working and living quarters in preparing the (lost) cartoon for the Battle of Anghiari. (48)
Vasari's biography confirms that Leonardo began to draw the cartoon in the Sala del Papa of the monumental Dominican building complex of Santa Maria Novella. (49) The original Sala del Papa was in the great cloister ('Chiostro Grande'), on the second storey of the north-west elevation; a papal apartment had been built there in 1418-19, and was heavily remodelled (before Leonardo's time) to accommodate the eminent visitors who were guests of the Florentine republic, Popes Martin v, Eugenius IV, and Pius II. (50) The site in the Chiostro Grande may be visited today (Fig. 13). The cloister has been the premises of the Scuola Marescialli e Brigadieri dei Carabinieri since 1920 (like the second cloister of Santissima Annunziata, it became property of the state, after the ecclesiastical suppressions of Napoleonic times). (51)
Virtually overlooked by Leonardo scholars, (52) the architectural context of the Chiostro Grande in Santa Maria Novella with its Sala del Papa, and Leonardo's well-documented presence there, provide, in my view, a fascinating counterpoint to the reconstruction of Leonardo's presumed living arrangements at the convent of the Santissima Annunziata. In three years, as his fortunes in Florence rose, he had clearly traded up living places. The extant documents regarding Leonardo's working conditions at the Sala del Papa in Santa Maria Novella (preserved in the Archivio di Stato, Florence) seem no less fascinating: it is evident that he could not have realistically begun the actual task of drawing the Battle of Anghiari cartoon before February 1504. Between 16 December 1503 and 28 February 1504, minor construction in the papal apartment--executed by the legnaiuolo (carpenter) Benedetto di Luca Buchi, the muratore (mason) Antonio di Giovanni, as well as a team of day labourers--was authorized and paid for. (53) On 28 February 1504, by the same date as Leonardo had made his first purchase of paper for the cartoon and the scaffolding for it was being erected, the ceiling of the Sala del Papa was being repaired, windows were being covered with paper and fir-wood boards (probably to provide protection, as well as the diffused light which Leonardo favoured in working), (54) and an uscio (exit) was being built connecting Leonardo's camera (living space) with the sala housing the cartoon. (55)
The interior of the Sala del Papa and the adjacent rooms were modified to accommodate Pope Leo x, who stayed there during the celebration of his entry into Florence on 30 November 1515; the present-day appearance of the spaces more or less corresponds to the remodelling undertaken then (Fig. 15). (56) The area of the present Cappella del Papa seems relatively small for a working space that was supposed to accommodate Leonardo's monumental cartoon, which if finished would have measured about 8 metres in height and 20 metres in width. (57) Although the interior of the present Cappella del Papa may appear larger, thanks to the high barrel vault, the room measures only 4.10 by 7.10 metres. However, Leonardo's workshop may well have included the present-day antechamber and corridor leading to the chapel, and even encompassed neighbouring rooms. There is no certainty at all that the spaces, as they are configured today, correspond to the areas originally available to Leonardo.
While the reader may well wonder what is the ultimate purpose of this quest for an archaeology of Leonardo's historical and architectural context, the archaeologist-historian might reply that, beyond experiencing the detective's 'thrill of the chase' in situ (which is some reward in itself), a rigorously applied archaeology of this sort is very much complementary to the larger enterprise of art history, in its attempts to integrate complex bodies of archival, object-based, and scientific research.
There is also a historiographic dimension. In the case of Leonardo, the late nineteenth century passionately believed in recapturing a sense of the time and place in which a great artist had lived, and in commemorating the sites connected to him, for their magnificent power to evoke his genius with immediacy. It was also a remarkable stimulus for new archival and palaeographic research. Significant bodies of biographical documents, especially on Leonardo's roots and family in the territory around Vinci (on the slopes of the Montalbano, about thirty kilometres west of Florence), were published by the great early Leonardista Gustavo Uzielli, between 1872 and 1896, (58) and then by Nino Smiraglia Scognamiglio, in 1900. (59) In Milan, Luca Beltrami (1854-1933)--architect, historian, and eminent politician-published the first comprehensive anthology of transcribed documents concerning Leonardo's life and work in 1919 (his book would not be superseded for eighty years). Beltrami's research on Leonardo's Lombard career went hand in hand with his reconstruction and restoration of Leonardo-related architectural sites.
Literary exercises of an entirely different character can also vividly attest, in very general terms, to the early fascination with the biographical dimension of a great artist. One may think, for example, of the travel diary written by Gustavo Uzielli and the painter Telemaco Signorini in the spring of 1872, entitled Gita a Vinci;(60) the operatic fictionalised historical novel by Dmitri Merejkowski of 1900, The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci, which borrowed heavily from Uzielli's documentary research; not to mention the deeply influential psycho-sexual interpretation of Leonardo's personality and 'childhood memory' by Sigmund Freud, published as Eine Kinderheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci in Leipzig and Vienna in 1909-1910. (61)
In reading such texts today, scholars may find themselves quietly succumbing (perhaps grudgingly so) to the poetry of this earlier vision. But they may also be filled with mistrust, and shut the door on the rich possibilities of a biographical method. It would be naive to underestimate the objectives of latenineteenth-century scholarship, as reflecting the immutability of a 'period eye' or a lack of 'scientific' rigour. It is true that the recovery, or archaeology, of a lost time (or, la recherche du temps perdu, to quote Proust directly), was often self-referential. (62)
Sometimes, it was beautifully so. The historical attention that was lavished by the ottocento on Leonardo's roots in the territory around Vinci was, in some measure, a gesture not devoid of campanilismo: local pride attempting to reclaim the importance of this western region of Tuscany from the perceived cultural hegemony of Florence. The epilogue of Merejkowski's novel about Leonardo betrays a none-too-covert ulterior nationalistic aim: the young Russian icon painter Eutychius dreams that the prophet's face beheld at the Wisdom of God's feet, over the land of mother Russia, was that of Leonardo, 'who had dreamed of wings for men'. (63)
Despite it all, one may argue, it is worthwhile to visit, and revisit the sites of historical memory, as archaeological methods are refined, and as new bodies of documentary and visual evidence are discovered (or are presumed to be discovered). Consider the example of the zibaldone, or family notebook, of the Da Vinci family that was discovered by Emil Moller in 1931 (after an archival search begun in 1928), and was published by him in 1939. (64) A local, oral tradition, picked up by Leonardo Repetti in his Dizionario geografico, fisico, e storico della Toscana of 184345, (65) had maintained that Leonardo was born in Anchiano, a small hamlet perched amidst terraced olive groves above Vinci (about two or three kilometres to the north; Fig. 14). Begun in the fourteenth century, the zibaldone or family booklet recorded seemingly precise information about Leonardo's birth--on Saturday, 15 April 1452, 'alle ore 3 di notte', corresponding to 10:30 PM--as well as his baptism and godparents, all except the place of the baby's birth. (66) The entry was inserted by Antonio di Ser Piero da Vinci (c. 13721465), the illegitimately born Leonardo's paternal grandfather. Yet in his marriage of 'time and place'--in his association of documentary evidence with visual remains--Emil Moller reasoned that Leonardo was born in Vinci, in his grandfather Antonio's house, for according to him the house in Anchiano had been built only in 1495. (67)
Most modern art-historians have followed Moller in his supposition that Vinci was Leonardo's birthplace. The renewed campaigns of archival research by Renzo Cianchi and Romano Nanni, however, have given credence to the old local tradition that Leonardo may have been born in Anchiano after all, for, among the new corroborating tidbits is the fact that a small stone house had existed since 1427 on the site that was to become property of the Da Vinci family (the birthplace that is venerated today as the casa natale di Leonardo was entirely reconstructed a short distance away from this original site, in the 1490s and later). It is also now known that some of the attendant godparents at Leonardo's baptism are documented to have belonged to the parish of Santa Lucia a Paterno (which included Anchiano). (68) The latter fact appears to remove one of the last objections by Emil Moller to identifying Anchiano as Leonardo's birthplace. (69) It is possibly a fitting act of poetic justice, therefore, that in setting the robust scene of Leonardo's family history in Anchiano, rather than in Vinci, Merejkowski's novel--a work of fiction--may have inched close to the truth. (70)
This article is dedicated to the memory of Lisa VenturiniS.
(1) The discoveries in the Santissima Annunziata were made by Roberto Manescalchi, Alessandro del Meglio, and Maria Carchio of the Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM) of Florence, and have been published in M. Carchio, A. del Meglio, R. Manescalchi, and E. Ruggiano, 'Leonardo all 'Annunziata', in M: Mediterraneo: La Storia delle Cose, no. 65, September 2004, pp. 56-59; R. Manescalchi and M. Carchio, 'La scoberta di un Michelozzo inedito: una scala dimenticata nel convento dell'Annunziata', Ananke (Dipartimento di Progettaziene dell'Architettura, Politecnico di Milano), no. 43, September 2004, pp. 82-91 ; M. Carchio, A. det Meglio, and R. Manescalchi, 'Firenze-Santissima Annunziata: le grottesche del Morto', Bollettino ingegneri, vol. LII, no. 10, October 2004, pp. 16-20; A. del Meglio and R. Manescalchi, Tracce d'antichita del convanto della SS Annunziata nei locali dell'Istituto Geografico Militare, Florence, 2004 (revised edition, Florence, January 2005); R. Manescalchi and M. Carchio, 'Un architettura di Michetozzo snaturata dalle vicende storiche: Fra convento dell'Annunziata IGM', Amici di Muse (ROAM), vol. XXXI, no. 101, January March 2005, pp. 61-65. My essay concentrates on the historical-documentary circumstances that have remained unexplored in the above publications, and was begun during a Metropolitan Museum of Art Visiting Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in February and March 2005. I would like to express my deepest thanks to Professor Antonio Paolucci, Soprinntendente Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino, who organised my first visit to the architectural site of the new discoveries; to dott. Roberto Manescalchi for his openness and generosity in sharing his research, and for guiding me during my comprehensive visits on 10 February and 9 March 2005 to the site. Nicalo Orsi Battaglini kindly undertook the photographs here published as Figs. 2, 6-10, 13-14; and permission to publish these photographs was granted by Col. Alessandro Gentili, Scuola Marescialli e Brigedieri dei Carabinien, SM, Ufficio Segretaria; and dott.ssa Chiara Silla, Dirigente, Direzione Cultura, Comune di Firenze. I am also greatly indebted to Ronald Street, Bruno Santi, Romano Nanni, Martin Kemp, Joseph Baillio, Elena Torretta, Pia Palledino, Diana Vought, Mary Zuber, Alessandro Cecchi, Rachel Stern and Meg Black.
(2) On the Santissima Annunziata, see especially G. Richa, Notizie delle chiese florentine, Florence, 1759, vol. VIII, pp. 1-113, 'Quartiere di San Giovanni: Della Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata': W. and E. Paatz, Die Kirchen von Florenz. Ein kunstgeschichtliches Handbuch, Frankfurt, 1940, vol. I, pp. 62-197; E. Casalini, I. Dina, R. Giorgetti, and P. Ircaei Menichini, La SS Annunziata di Firenze: studi e docurnenti sulla chiesa e il convento, Florence, 1978; B.L. Brown, 'The Patronage and Building History of the Tribuna of SS Annunziata in Florence: A Reappraisal in Light of New Documentation, Mitteilungen dee Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, vol. XXV, 1981, pp. 59-142; E, Casalini et al, Tesori d'arte dell'Annunziata di Firenze, Florence, 1987; R Ircani Menichini, vita quotidiana e storia della SS Annunziata di Firenze nella prima meta, del quattrocento, Florence, 2004; and T. Verdon (ed.), Santissima Annunziata (Alla riscoperia delle chiese di Firenze: 4), Florence, 2005.
(3) Uffizi no. 45P, Florence. See A.M. Petrioli Tofani, I grandi disegni italiani degli Uffizi di Firenze, Milan, 1975, no. 37 (with bibliography); and for its topographic context, Del Meglio and Manescalchi, op. cit. in n. 1 above (revised edition Jan 2005), pp. 99-113.
(4) Ibid., pp. 99-104.
(5) For summaries of arguments about the date and visual evidence of the Codice Rustici, see Brown, op, cit., fig. 6, pp. 71-74, 137 (note 32); and Licia Bertani in G. Rolfi et al., La chiesa e la citta a Firenze nel xv secolo, exh. cat., Sotterranei di San Lorenzo, Florence, 1992, pp. 109-11, nos. 6.4, 6.5.
(6) Illustrated and discussed in C. Elam, 'Il giardino delle sculture di Lorenzo de' Medici', in P. Barocchi (ed.), Il Giardino di San Marco: Maestri e compagni del giovane Michelangelo, exh. cat., Casa Buonarroti, Florence, 1992, p. 163, fig. 77.
(7) An impression of the first edition of Buonsignori's plan is in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degti Uffizi, no. 2614 (st. sc.), Florence, but is in a fragile condition; etching pnnted on six sheets of glued paper, 125 x 138 cm.
(8) Illustrated and discussed in Brown, op. cit., fig. 4, pp. 69-70.
(9) See n. 1 above. The description of this portion of the building in Paatz, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 91-92, for example, is extremely incomplete.
(10) Ibid., p. 64.
(11) This type of restructuring of buildings was typical during the years following the transfer of the capital of the kingdom of Italy, from Turin to Florence in 1864. I am indebted to Roberto Manescalchi and Alessandro del Meglio for clarifying for me, on site, the evolution of the history and architecture of the Istituto Topografico Militare, with respect to the modern istituto Geografico Militare (IGM); oral communications, 9 March 2005.
(12) Illustrations and discussion in Del Meglio and Manescalchi, op. cit. in n. 1 above (revised edition Jan 2005), pp. 13, 29, 30, 44, 47.
(13) These findings, however, apply only to the early pad of the quattrocento; see Ircani Menichini, op. cit. in n. 2 above (2004), pp. 66-73, 128-132, 191-94.
(14) Illustrations and discussion in Del Meglio and Manescalchi, op. cit. in n. 1 above (revised edition Jan 2005), pp. 115-20, although the tantalising proposals of identifying which persons among Leonardo's contingent occupied which rooms in the foresteria are not borne out by a documentary record.
(15) See studies cited in n. 1 above.
(16) G. Vasari, Le vile de' piu eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori nelle redazioni dell 1550 e 1568, R. Bettarini and P. Barocchi (eds.), Rorence, 1966 87, vol. iv, pp. 517-23. In comparing the Santissima Annunziata grotteschi attributed to Morto to the refined character of the grotteschi frescoed in the Cappalla del Papa at Santa Maria Novella, which are documented to be by Andrea di Cosimo Feltrini (compare here Figs. 10, 15), who greatly influenced Morto according to Vasari, one can readily see that the figurative vocabularies belong to artists of very different generations.
(17) My translation of Vasari's 1568 edition: 'Ritorno a Florenza, dove Otrovo che i frati de' Servi avevano allogato a Filippino I'opare della tavola dell'attare maggiore della Nunziata; per il che fu detto da Lionardo che volontieri avrebbe fatta una simil cosa. Onde Filippino inteso cio, come gentil persona ch'egli era, se ne tolse giu; et i frati, perche Lionardo la dipignesse, se lo tolsero in casa, facendo le spese a lui eta tutta la sua famiglia: e cosi li tenne in practica lungo tempo, ne mai comincio nulla.' This portion of the passage is identical in both editions except for the spelling of two words; 1568 edition: 'dell'altar' ... 'a lui'; 1550 edition 'dello altar' ... 'a-llui.' For a comparison of the text in the 1550 and 1568 editions, see Vasari, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 29.
(18) These letters are transcribed in L. Beltrami, Documenti e memorie riguardanti la vitae le opere di Leonardo da Vinci in ordine cronologico, Milan, 1919, pp. 65 67, nos. 107-108; E. Villata, Leonardo da Vinci: I documenti e le testimonianze contemporanee (Ente Raccolta Vinciena), Milan, 1999, pp. 134-37, nos. 150 and 151 ; and RC. Marani, Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings: With an Appendix of Documents transcribed by Edoardo Villata, New York, 2000, p. 349, nos. 36, 37. The letter of 14 April 1501 (ex-Archivio San Fedele, Milan) is no longer in New York (as most recently published), and is presently in a private collection, Europe.
(19) But, as is rightly emphasised in Carlo Pedretti, Leonardo Architetto, (2nd edition) Milan, 1981, p. 144, a passage in the Vite di sette bead fiorentini by Michele Pocianti (Rorence, 1589) records that Leonardo designed a structure for the tribuna of the Santissima Annuziata: '... in mezzo le quail e vn Coro a guisa di Teatro, & un nobilissimo Altare in forma d'Arco trionfale (disegno di Lionardo da Vinci) tutto coperto d'oro ...'
(20) See Vasari, op. cit., vol. IV, p. 29. After the concluding sentence 'ne mai comincio nulla,' in the 1550 edition of the text Vasari states: 'In questo mez[z]o fece un cartone ...'; and in the 1568 edition: 'Finalmente fece un cartone ...'. In my opinion, the wording in both cases tends to support the hypothesis that Leonardo's cartoon was unrelated to the commission of the high attarpiece of the church. Regarding the complex history of the commission for the high altarpiece of the Santissima Annunziata, compare the somewhat contradictory accounts in Vasan's vita of Filippino Lippi, (vol III, pp. 567 68); and Vasari's vita of Perugino, (vol. III, pp. 608 609); and note, especially, the recent documented summaries presented in J. Nelson, 'The high altarpiece of SS Annunziata in Florence: history, form, and function', The Burlington Magazine, vol. cxxxix, issue no. 1127 (February 1997), pp. 84-94; and R 7ambrano and J. Nelson, Filippino Lippi, Milan, 2004, pp, 606-807, under no. 65.
(21) Compare the phrasing of the 1550 and 1568 editions in Vasari, op. cit., vol. iv, p, 29. Here quoted is the 1568 edition: 'Finalmente fece un cartone, dentrovi una Nostra Donna et una S Anna con un Cristo, la quale non pure fece maravigliare tutti gl'artefici, ma finite ch'ella fu, nella stanza durarono due giorni d'andare a vederla gl'uomini e le donne, i giovani et i vecchi, come siva ale feste solenni, per vedere le maraviglie di Lionardo, che fecero studpire tutto quel popolo ...' On the reception of Leonardo's lost 'St Anne cartoon', see further C.C. Bambach, Drawing and Painting in the italian
Renaissance Workshop: Theory and Practice, 1300-1600, Cambridge and New York, 1999, pp. 249-59.
(22) Beltrami, op. cit. pp. 65-66, no. 107; Villata, op. cit., pp. 134-35, no. 150; Marani, op. cit., p. 349, no. 36.
(23) Compare discussions and differences of opinions in F. Zollner, Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings and Drawings, Cologne, London, Los Angeles, Paris, 2003, pp. 143-49, 234-35; C,C. Bambach (ed.), Leonardo Master Draftsman, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2003, pp. 18-20, 24, 515-30, 557-70, nos. 94-97,105-109; F. Viatte and V. Forcione (eds.), Leonard de Vinci: Dessins et manuscripts, exh. cat., Musee du Louvre, Paris, 2003, pp. 242-65, nos. 79-90; M. Clayton, Leonardo da Vinci: One Hundred Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty, exh. cat., Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 1996, pp. 131-39; D.A. Brown, 'Leonardo Drawings', Burlington Magazine, vol. CXLV, no. 1205 (August 2003) pp. 613-15.
(24) See discussion with citation of documents in C.C. Bambach, 'Documented Chronology of Leonardo's Life and Work', in idem, op. cit. in n. 23 above, pp. 226-41.
(25) For example, by Leonardo's own account, in a note in Paris Manuscript E, foe 1 recto, he took four disciples or companions--Giovan Francesco [Melzi], Salai, Lorenzo, and II Fanfoia--on his departure on 24 September 1513, from Milan to Rome; document transcribed in Villata, op. crt., p. 244, no. 287.
(26) Oddly, this aspect of Leonardo's circumstances has been entirely overlooked by the recent scholars discussing the artist's Santissima Annunziata connection. For an overview of the biographic documents regarding Leonardo's life between 1499 and 1506, see C. Vecce, Leonardo, Rome, 1998, pp. 176-259; Villata, op. cit., pp. 122-206, nos, 134-239; and Bambach op. cir. in n. 23 above, pp. 232-36.
(27) See overview, with citation of documents, in ibid., pp. 232-36; the present essay offers revisions and additions regarding Leonardo's career c. 1499-1504.
(28) Regarding Leonardo's vineyard in the Porta Vercellina district, I would like to note that the document of 2 October 1498, formerly in the Archivio of the Marchese Stampa-Soncino, Milan, and thought to be lost (compare Beltrami, op. cit., doc. no. 90; Villata, op. cit., no. 132), passed through Sotheby's, London, 6 December 1971, lot 21. On the vineyard, see especially G. Biscaro, 'La vigna di Leonardo da Vinci fuori di Porta Vercellina', Archivio Storico Lombardo, no. 36, 1909, vol. XII, pp. 364-68; Beltrami, op. cit., nos. 90, 95; Vecce, op. cit., pp. 178-80; Villata, op. cit., nos. 132, 132b, 136, 136 b; and compare also Marani, op. cit., p. 348, nos. 32a, 32b.
(29) On 8 February 1498, Fra Luca Pacioli, the Franciscan mathematician and theorist who was Leonardo's intimate friend, dedicated his De Divina Proportione treatise to Ludovico Sforza 'll Moro', greatly praising Leonardo, and suggesting that the Last Supper was finished, and that his model of the 'Sforza Horse' measured 12 braccia ('the said height from the nape to the flat ground'), and that it was of a bronze mass of 200,000 libbre. Pacioli's manuscript of the treatise exists in two versions at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, and at the Biblioteca Civica, Geneva. See the published Venice, 1509 edition, 'Pars prima', fols. 1 recto, 8 recto, 22 recto, 28 verso, 30 verso; partly transcribed in Beltrami, op. cit., no. 82; and Villata, op. cit., pp. 107-109, no. 124.
(30) See summary regarding this point in Vecce, op. cit., pp. 182-86. Although Leonardo did not immediately succeed with the French, from April 1501 to December 1511 he would build a formidable network of Milan-based French patrons (overview with citation of documents in Bambach, op. cit. in n. 23 above, pp. 233-37).
(31) The property was restituted to Leonardo much later, by a decree of 27 April 1507 (document transcribed in Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 117-18, no. 187; Villata, op. cit., pp. 211-12, no. 244). Leonardo bequeathed his vineyard to his pupil 'Salai' (Gian Giacomo Caprotti di Oreno) in his will of 23 April 1519 (extant only in notarial copy by Venanzio de Pagave; Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 152-54, no. 244; Marani, op. cit., pp. 365-66, no. 97; Villata, op. cit., pp. 275-78, no. 323).
(32) A point rightly emphasised in Vecce, op. cir., p. 179.
(33) Both documents are transcribed in Villata, op. cit., pp. 130-32, nos. 144, 145.
(34) On Boltraffio's 'Pala Casio', sea M.T. Fiorio, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio: un pittore milanese nel lume di Leonardo, Milan 2000, pp. 49-54, 110-13, no. A15 (with bibliography); and discussion with citation of documents in Bambach, op. cit. in n. 23 above, pp. 232-33.
(35) The Ligny Memorandum is transcribed in J.P. Richter. The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci Compiled and Edited from the Original Manuscripts, 3rd edition, London, 1970, vol. II no. 1379; C. Pedretti, The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, Compiled and Edited from the Original Manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter: Commentary, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1977, vol. II, p. 326, no. 1379; Vecce, pp. cit., pp. 182-83; Villata, pp. cit., pp. 127-29, no. 141.
(36) Document as transcribed in Villata, pp. cit., p. 129, under no. 143: 'ft. treciento larghi d'oro in pro avemo per lui, da Taddeo Ghaddi di Firenze, recho Giovanbattista de Benidetto de Ghoro per tanti rimesici da Milano, per lettera d'aviso de dixiii di dicembre passato 1499 di Salvestro di Dino da Milano da detti Ghaddi fata a stanza sel sopra ditto Lionardo da Vinci ...' Compare Beltrami, pp. cit., pp. 6063, nos. 98, 101.
(37) This passage is usually embed from documentary anthologies on Leonardo. It reads: 'Lionardo da uinci florentino nella cita de Milano ... Anglo cire trouauamo nelli anni de nostra Salute. 1496. fin al. 99 donde poi da siemi per diuersi successi in quelle parti ci parteremmo e a firence pur insiemi.' See fol. 28 verso in edition of Fra Luca Pacioli [da Borgo San Sepolcro], Divina proportione. Opera a tutti glingegni perspicaci e curiosi necessaria: On[d]e ciascun studioso di Philosophia: Prospectiua Pitura Sculptura: Architectura: Musica: e altre Mathematice: sua uissima: sottile: e admirabile doctrina consequira: e de lectarassi co varie questione de secretissima scientia, Venice, 1509 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 19.50).
(38) Document as transcribed in Villata, pp. cit., p. 130, under no. 144: '...Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci chontrascrito de' dare adi XXIII?? [aprile] 1500 ff cinquanta d'oro larghi in oro, cioe ff larghi in oro: porto contanti F. 50 larghi in pro.' The latter phrase suggests that he appears to have brought the sum in person in cash.
(39) On Ser Piero da Vinci and the Aneenziata, see doc. transcribed in Beltrami, pp. cit., p. 3, no. 4; and discussion with further citations of documents in A. Cecchi, 'New Light on Leonardo's Florentine Patrons,' in Bambach, pp. cit. in n. 23 above, pp. 123-24, 134-35 (notes 21-22).
(40) See Pedretti, pp. cit. in n. 19 above, pp. 137-38; and document transcribed in Beltrami, pp. cit., p. 61, no. 99; Villata, pp. cit., pp. 128-29, no. 142.
(41) See reconstructions proposed in Pedretti pp. cit. in n. 19, pp. 137-44; and document as transcribed in Villata, pp. cit., pp. 132-33, no. 146.
(42) Discussed in detail, with appendices of transcribed documents, in B.L. Brown, pp. cit., pp. 59-142.
(43) According to Leonardo's own note, so dated, in the Codex Atlanticus, fol. 618 verso (formerly, fol. 227 verso-a); transcribed in Villata, pp. cit., p. 133, no. 147.
(44) Letter transcribed in Beltrami, pp. cit., p. 65, no. 106 (with incorrect date as 27 March); Villata, op. cit., pp. 13334, no. 149; and Marani, op. cit., p. 349, no. 35.
(45) Letter transcribed in Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 65-67, no. 107; Villata, op. cit., pp. 134-35, no. 150; and Marani, op. cit., p. 349, no. 36.
(46) This letter (ex-Archivio San Fedele, Milan) is no longer in New York (as most recently published), and is presently in a private collection, Europe; transcribed in Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 66-67, no. 108 (with incorrect date as 4 April); Villata, ep. cit., p. 136-37, no. 151; and Marani, op. cit., p. 349, no. 37. The patron of the Yarnwinder Madonna was Florimond Robertet (1459-1527), who had become secretary and treasurer of king Louis XII of France in 1499. On Robertet and the two extant versions of this painting, see M. Kemp, Leanardo da Vinci: The Mystery of the Madonna of the Yamwinder, exh. cat., National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1992; A. Thereza Crowe, in Kemp, op. cit., pp. 25-33; J. Baillio, Leonardo da Vinci: The Madonna of the Yamwinder, c. 1501-1507, privately printed, New York, 1993; and a forthcoming monograph on the two pictures edited by Martin Kemp and Cristina Acidini Luchinat, Oxford, 2006.
(47) Discussed with citation of documents in Bambach, op. cit. in n. 23 above, pp, 233-34.
(48) Document in the Archivio di Stato, Florence, Signori & collegi, deliberazioni ordinaria autorita, 15011504, vol. cv, fol. 106 recto: '24 ott 1503. Item dicti domini simul adunatj in senates [?] deliberauerunt et preceperunt preeenti [mag.o, cancelled] massario eorum camera armorum quatenus tendat claves sale pape et atigue habitationem an. d.cani saleni leonardo ser pierj de vincio pro tempore quo uidebitur donationi prediote licite [?]'. Document partly transcribed in Beltrami, op. cit., p. 81, no. 130; Villata, op. cit., p. 162, no. 183; and Marani, op. cit., p. 352, no. 44.
(49) Vasari, op. cit., vol. IV, p. 32.
(50) On the SaIa del Papa, see G.M. Mecatti, Notizie storiche riguardante il capitolo esistente nel Convento dei Padri Dominicani di S Maria Novella della citta di Firanze, Florence, 1737; Richa, op. cit., vol. VIII, pp. 41,110, 114-18. J. Wood-Brown, The Dominican Church of S Mafia Novella of Florence, Edinburgh, 1902, p. 75; Paatz, op. cit., Frankfurt, 1952, vol. III, pp. 671-72, 693, 755-56, 843-44 (notes 547-52).
(51) See U. Baldini (ed.), Santa Maria Novella: la basilica, il convento i chiostri monumetali, Florence, 1981, 'La Scuola sottufficiali carabinieri nell' ex-convento di Santa Maria Novella', pp. 333-45.
(52) The new research developed here grows out of an earlier article, C.C. Bambach, 'The Purchases of Cartoon Paper for Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari and Michelangelo's Battle of Caecina', in Walter Kaiser (ed.), I Tatti Studies: Essays in the Renaissance, vol. VIII, Florence, 1999, pp. 105-33.
(53) Document in the Archivio di Stato, Florence, Signori & collegi, deliberazioni ordinaria autorita vol. cv, fol. 126 verso-127 recto. Compare K. Frey, 'Studien zu Michelangiolo Buonarroti and zur Kunst seiner Zeit', Jahrbuch der Koniglich Preusziechen Kunstsammlungen Berlin, vol. xxx, 1909, p. 128, no. 153; Beltrami, op. cit., p. 82, no. 132 (imprecise transcription, much abridged); Archivio di Stato, Florence, S & C, DOA, vol. cvl, fol. 3 verso; Frey, op. cit., p. 129, no. 158; Beltrami, op. cit. pp. 82-83, no. 134. Archivio di Stato, Florence, Repubblica, operai di palazzo, vol. x, fol. 61 recto-verso; Frey, op. cit., p. 130, no. 170; Beltrami, op. cit., p. 84, no. 136; Villata, op. cit., pp. 164-66, nos. 18788.
(54) Archivio di Stato, Florence, Repubblica, operai di palazzo, vol. x, fols. 60 recto-verso, 61 recto; Frey, op. cit., p. 129, nos. 164-66, 168; Beltrami, op. cit., p. 85, no, 137. Windows in the 'Sala del Gran Consiglio' of Palazzo della Signoria were also being screened at this time. See Archivio di Stato, Florence, ROP, vol. x, fols. 60 recto-verso, 61 recto; Frey, op. cit., pp. 129-30, nos. 162, 165, 167 ('sportegli'); Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 84-85, nos. 136, 137.
(55) Archivio di Stato, Florence, ROP, voI. x, fols. 60 verso, 61 recto-verso; Frey, op. cit., pp. 129-30, nos. 168, 167, 169, 170, 172; Beltrami, op. cit., pp. 84-85, nos. 136, 137.
(56) The Cappella del Papa in its present state was frescoed by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Andrea 'del Fornaio' Feltrini, and Jacopo Pontormo; document transcribed in Frey, op. cit., p. 136, no, 253. See also J. Shearman, 'The Florentine "Entrata" of Leo x, 1515', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. XXXVIII, 1975, pp. 136-54 (especially pp. 147-48, notes 35-36); I. Ciseri, L'ingresso trionfale di Leone x in Firenze nel 1515, Florence, 1990; Alessandro Cecchi and Ilaria Ciseri in Uffizi, 1996, pp. 192-93.
(57) Dimensions of the Battle of Anghiari cartoon (based on the evidence of the documents of cartoon paper purchases) are as reconstructed in Bambach, op. cit. in n. 23 above, pp. 195-33. (Johannes Wilde gave the dimensions for the intended wall paintings by Leonardo and Michelangelo as 7 metres in height and 17.5 metres in width). See J. Wilde, 'The Hall of the Greet Council of Florence', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. VII, 1944, pp. 65-81 (especially p. 80). His dimensions correspond to 12 braccia in height and 30 braccia in width.
(58) G. Uzielli, Ricerche intomo a Leonardo da Vinci (Serie prima), Florence, 1872; idem, Ricerche intorno a Leonardo da Vinci (Serie seconda), Rome, 1884; idem, Ricerche intomo a Leonardo da Vinci, (Serie prima), 2nd edition, Turin, 1896.
(59) N. Smiraglia Scognamiglio, Ricerche e documenti sulla giovinezza di Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1482), Naples, 1900.
(60) See now critical edition by E Dial, Gustavo Uzielli e Telemaco Signorini: 1872: Gita a Vinci: Trascrizione del manoscritto della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Fondo Uzielli, striscia 82, Fucecchio, 1999.
(61) S. Freud, Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood, translated by A. Tyson and edited by J. Strachey, in collaboration with Anna Freud, New York, 1964.
(62) It may be recalled, regarding the 'period eye', that Proust himself, in his Les Plaisirs et les Jours of 1896, chose the metaphor of Dutch genre pictures to stand in for the ordinary memories of one's life; M. Proust, Pleasures and Days, translated by A. Brown, London, 2004, pp. 135-36: '18: "The genre paintings of memory": ... this period of my life was a series (admittedly filled with gaps) of little paintings imbued with charm and truth bathed in happiness, on which time has shed its sweet sadness and its poetry.'
(63) D. Merejkowski, The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci, translated from the Russian by H. Trench, New York and London, 1901, p. 367.
(64) E. Moller, 'Der Geburtstag des Lionardo da Vinci', Jahrbuch der Preussischen Kunstsammlungen Berlin, vol. LX, 1939, pp. 71-73.
(65) See R. Nanni, 'La casa natale di Leonardo ad Anchiano: nascita e affermazione di una tradizione', in R. Nanni and E. Testaferrata (eds.), Vinci di Leonardo: storia e memorie, Pisa and Vinci, 2004, pp. 113-24.
(66) Archivio di Stato, Florence, Notarile Antecosimiano, n 389 (1391-1411) , fol. 105 verso.; transcribed in Moller, op. cit., p. 73; R. Cianchi, Vinci: Leonardo e la sua famiglia (con appendice di documenti inediti), Milan, 1953; Vecce, op. cit., p. 20; Villata, op. cit., p. 1, no. 1; Marani, op. cit., p. 342, no. 1; and Nanni, op. cit., pp. 113-24.
(67) Historical skepticism appears to have set in with particular strength between 1919 and 1939, the anniversary dates of Leonardo's death (2 May 1519) that were commemorated in Italy with especially significant national projects and exhibitions.
(68) Cianchi, op. cit.; Nanni, op. cit., pp. 113-24.
(69) Moller, op. cit., p. 74.
(70) Merejkowski, op. cit., pp. 116-121.
THE CONVENT OF SANTISSIMA ANNUNZIATA, FLORENCE
Figure 3 (above) is a drawing by Fra Bartolomeo (c. 1474-c. 1517) of the convent and church as Leonardo knew it. (Pen and brown ink. 20.8 x 28.3 cm. Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi. Florence no. 45p). Figure 4 (below) is a detail of View of Florence by Fra Stefano
Buonsignori (first published in Florence, 1584, here illustrated edition published Rome, 1660), showing the area around Piazza San Marco, the convent, church and piazza of Santissima Annunziata, and the Giardino dei Semplici to the north. (Etching printed on six sheets of glued paper; 125 x 138 cm.) Photo: Roberto Manescalchi
Carmen C. Bambach is curator of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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|Author:||Bambach, Carmen C.|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2005|
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