Leonardo da Vinci Society Newsletter

editor:  Francis Ames-Lewis

 

Issue 19,  November 2001

 

Recent and forthcoming events

The Leonardo da Vinci Society’s Annual General Meeting and Annual Lecture, May 2002.

 

In the year in which we celebrate the 550th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth on 2 May 1452, the AGM and Annual Lecture will be held on Friday 3 May, at 5.30 pm, at the Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1. The Annual Lecture will be given by Francis Ames-Lewis, Vice-President of the Society and editor of this Newsletter, on the theme of ‘Black chalk in Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing practice’. Members, guests and others attending are invited to join the Committee for refreshments after the lecture.

 

 

A Conference on ‘The Fortuna of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della Pittura.

 

Organised by the Warburg Institute in collaboration with the Leonardo da Vinci Society, with the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this conference was held at the Warburg Institute, 13-14 September 2001. Rodney Palmer writes: The conference, organised by Claire Farago and Thomas Frangenberg, was affected by the events earlier that week. From an impressive programme of over twenty American and European speakers, only half could attend. Six of the ten prevented from travelling did manage to send their papers to be read in absentia – one of several last-minute tasks that Farago and Frangenberg took on with unfailing graciousness. At the suggestion of Nicholas Mann, Director of the Warburg Institute, the conference, attended by an audience of about fifty, was reduced from the planned three days to two.

            Claire Farago, on the history of the Trattato up to its publication in 1651,  characterised  the  editio princeps as an important text in a terrible state, only very slightly resembling Leonardo’s plans due to the maltreatment of four generations of editors.  Leonardo’s sixteenth-century editor(s) invented a series of sub-categories, by objects of representation, arranged in the order in which they were encountered – an early instance of the Trattato’s constantly changing cultural context over three centuries. Martin Kemp posed the question of what the Trattato would have looked like if prepared for publication by Leonardo himself. Kemp reminded us that the visual image was a prime vehicle of Leonardo’s thought, pointing out that notwithstanding his legendary impracticality Leonardo was interested in print techniques. Kemp drew attention to the relevance of Leonardo’s ‘Vitruvian man’ drawing to the sections of the Trattato on proportion, and to the engraveability of the image. Juliana Barone related the illustrations to the 1651 Trattato to those in other seventeenth-century texts, for instance Bellori’s Vite of 1672, arguing the necessity of bearing in mind the priorities of the time so as to get critical purchase.

            Read in absentia, Robert Williams’ paper on Leonardo’s theory in sixteenth-century Florence reiterated Carlo Pedretti’s view that many more were acquainted with Leonardo’s Trattato than acknowledged it. Williams pointed out that the impact of the Trattato on sixteenth-century artists was complicated by Leonardo’s influence more generally, for instance on Andrea del Sarto’s poetics of sfumato half-light. Williams also addressed Vasari’s warning against imitating Leonardo: for Vasari, Leonardo set Pontormo the counterproductive example of spending entire days contemplating rather than executing a painting. In Vasari’s view, Raphael took the best of Leonardo. It became a widely-adopted academic assumption that Leonardo was therefore best approached via Raphael – one reason why, even when manuscript versions of it were being used, the Trattato remained habitually uncited.

            Francesca Fiorani, in absentia, discussed the editio princeps of Leonardo’s Trattato as an illustrated book, arguing that the French edition preceded the Italian one. Fiorani attended to the indisputable differences between the French- and Italian-language editions. In the Italian edition, due to the editorial research at an early stage of Cassiano dal Pozzo, the Trattato was published with texts by and on Leon Battista Alberti, and the intellectual genealogy between Alberti and Leonardo thus established would be preserved and extended in subsequent editions.

            Donatella Sparti presented a new manuscript of the Trattato, Ottobono Latino 2978 in the Vatican Library, a hybrid combining part of Leonardo’s Trattato and Poussin’s Osservazioni on painting (the latter subsequently printed in Bellori’s Vite of 1672). Sparti agreed with Fiorani that there are distinctions to be made between the two editions, while plausibly arguing that the Italian one was the first. Sparti’s most important insight concerned the reason for Poussin’s well-known low esteem for the edition and for its dedicatee Charles Errard. This was due not so much to Errard misinterpreting Poussin’s designs in the engravings (in fact made by René Lochon) as to the failure to acknowledge Poussin’s own design role.

            Pauline Maguire, in absentia, discussed Leonardo’s theory of aerial perspective as contained in two manuscripts of the 1630s prepared under the supervision of Cassiano dal Pozzo: the well-known abridged version of the Trattato, MS Ambrosiana 228, and MS Ambrosiana 227 containing passages of scientific writings assembled at Cassiano’s request, but then omitted from the 1651 edition. She seconded Farago on how the editorial process divorced Leonardo’s observations from their intended contexts.  Maguire’s observation of how André Felibien in the fifth of his Entretiens of 1679 borrowed from MS 227 without crediting Leonardo underscored Williams’ point about debts to Leonardo’s Trattato frequently going unacknowledged.

            In absentia, Hans Henrik Brummer entertainingly and instructively discussed Raphael Trichet du Fresne’s dedication of the French edition of 1651 to Queen Cristina of Sweden as a successful attempt to gain the patronage of the ‘Minerva of the North’ – who hired Trichet as keeper of her collections. In absentia, Catherine Soussloff, on the life of Leonardo in the Trichet du Fresne edition of 1651, returned attention to the role of the 1651 edition in relating Alberti and Leonardo to each other. Soussloff then related the 1651 Trattato to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art literature, mainly Vite and Trattati, comparing its prefatory matter, dedications and portraits of the artists to precedents such as Cosimo Bartoli’s edition of Alberti’s Opusculi morali of 1568.  Finally, Soussloff explained how Trichet’s life of Leonardo sought to redress those parts of Vasari’s that had diminished Leonardo’s reputation so as to build up Michelangelo’s.

            Thomas Frangenberg, on Leonardo’s Traitté in seventeenth-century France, showed the extent to which it determined the subjects of subsequent French art theory. All of the Academy’s five priorities as defined in 1664 – arrangement, order, expression, perspective and colour – were derived from Leonardo. Abraham Bosse’s insistence in his Sentiments of 1649 on a geometrical perspective was superseded by Leonardo’s optical approach and the latter was given official precedence when Charles Le Brun (who of course developed Leonardo’s ideas on physiognomic caricature) ordered copies of Leonardo’s Trattato to replace Bosse’s as a key academic text. While in the third quarter of the seventeenth century debt to Leonardo was frequently acknowledged, by the end of the century Leonardo’s ideas were so widely adopted that they were no longer recognized as his.

            J. V. Field, on literature about perspective, opined that the fact that so many books on perspective were published up to the seventeenth century reveals that none of them was entirely succuessful. She observed that optics is a precise science but not to be applied exactly. For instance the figures in the background of Pieter de Hooch’s paintings are mathematically wrong, being measurable as eight feet high, but optically satisfactory.

            Javier Navarro de Zuvillaga, on the Trattato in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Spanish perspective and art theory, informed us that the debt to Leonardo was tendentially under-emphasised, and often omitted. The Spanish art text to refer most explicitly to the Trattato was Francisco Pacheco’s Arte de Pintura (Seville 1649). Pacheco evidently handled a manuscript of the Trattato, although both his quotations from and concordances with it are incomplete. Antonio Palomino’s Museo Pictorico (Madrid 1720-4), by referring to him as Raphael’s master, helped restore Leonardo’s position in the academic tradition from which he is often sidelined. The first Spanish translation of the Trattato, by Rejón de Silva, was published in Madrid in 1784. Navarro agreed with Kemp that the ‘Vitruvian man’ was intended to illustrate the Trattato and related its proportions based on a circle with its centre at the navel to Crucifixions by Velasquez and Goya.

            Charlene VillaseĖor Black, in absentia, rethought Leonardo’s legacy in Spain as reflected in Pacheco’s theory. She indicated Pacheco’s debt to Lomazzo, the latter as Charles Hope pointed out an intermediary source for some uncredited versions of Leonardo’s ideas. Teodoro Hampe Martínez on Leonardo’s Trattato in Spanish America, while not absolutely excluding the dissemination of manuscript versions was bound to conclude that its reception was almost wholly indirect – via Spanish editions such as those of Pacheco and Rejón. 

            Thomas Willette, in absentia, presented the first edition of the Trattato from an Italian press, Francesco Ricciardi’s Naples reprint of 1733 which essentially replicates the Paris 1651 Italian edition, including also its Albertian texts and, in common with the Vatican manuscript discussed by Sparti, Poussin’s Osservazioni on painting.  Willette contextualised the Trattato of 1733 alongside other books on the visual arts published in Naples at the time, including the clandestine first edition of Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography and new editions of Baglione’s and Bellori’s Vite.  The manner in which De Dominici’s life of Giordano was appended to the latter much as Albertian texts to editions of the Trattato further exemplifies the role of art publications in creating artistic genealogy.

            Geoff Quilley on Leonardo’s reputation and the place of the Trattato in eighteenth-century British aesthetics familiarised us with the anonymous translation into English of 1721, which by the end of the century could only be found at huge expense, and was thus reprinted in 1796. Although sought-after and influential, the Trattato  remained – and this applies not only to England – peripheral to mainstream academic debate. Leonardo and his Trattato appealed to more esoteric aspects of British italophilia, its structural randomness corresponding to Addisonian novelty. Quilley showed that Hogarth’s Analysis was in part indebted to the Trattato, albeit yet again elusively. Finally, Chryssa Damianaki-Romano discussed the translations of the Trattato into Greek by the painter Panagiotis Doxoras (1662-1729). Doxoras’ two manuscripts, one in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, and the other in the National Library, Athens, comprise the Albertian texts from Du Fresne’s edition of 1651.  Although not published, Doxoras’ manuscripts helped spread Leonardo’s ideas.   

           Due to absent speakers having been able to send their papers but not their slides, at several points the audience had to remember and/or imagine a picture in relation to text – this accidental throwback to ekphrasis being a reminder of how we have come to take reproduced imagery for granted. Likewise the privilege of being able to travel to confer with each other in person. 

            It would have been invaluable for absentees to have been present to sustain their side of the differences of opinion described above. Farago and Frangenberg – deserving recipients of Getty funding until the end of 2002 – are contemplating a future meeting in the United States, to pursue further the themes that began to emerge from this well-conceived project. The Trattato’s importance for subsequent art and theory emerged clearly from this conference, as did some reasons why so many of those who responded to Leonardo’s ideas failed to acknowledge their source. Farago and Frangenberg also plan to publish a volume of essays on the Trattato.  Like the conference at the Warburg Institute in September this will shed light both on Leonardo’s fortuna, and on the machinations of early modern art literature.

Leonardesque News

 

 

Sir Ernst Gombrich (1907 – 2001)

 

To add to the obituaries and tributes that marked Sir Ernst’s recent death, mention should be made of his part in the founding of the Leonardo da Vinci Society. Although the initiative and energy behind the Society’s launch in 1986 came from the late Dr Kenneth Keele, Sir Ernst was from the start an enthusiastic supporter, one of the founding members, and the first Vice-President of the Society. He was of course an eminent Leonardo scholar in his own right, and as Director of the Warburg Institute over many years was a powerful force in the establishment there of one of the major international collections of the writings of Leonardo and of works devoted to Leonardo, his career and work.

 

 

Leonardo e il mito di Leda – Modelli, memorie e metamorfosi di un’invenzione, an exhibition held at the Palazzino Uzielli del Museo Leonardiano in Vinci from 23 June to 23 September 2001.

 

Maddalena Spagnolo writes: curated by Gigetta Dalli Regoli, Romano Nanni and Antonio Natali, this exhibition rendered an unusual homage to Leonardo: it was centred on the myth of Leda, on which Leonardo focused during his mature years. Leonardo’s surviving drawings show that he considered two different versions of his Leda. In one, Leda is shown half kneeling, in the other she stands facing the spectator. Both versions were turning points for the iconography of Leda and became crucial points of reference for many Tuscan and Lombard artists of the sixteenth century. Through copies and adaptations, the exhibition presented the ways in which Leonardo’s new inventions were diffused. Viewed in this context, the paintings, engravings and sculptures on display offered the observer a clearer perception of Leonardo’s composition, and showed in what ways later artists were interested in exploiting the master’s invention.

            It is very likely that Leonardo eventually decided to represent the standing Leda in the form of a painting or presentation cartoon, as of the two versions this was the easier to develop. The kneeling Leda, shown in the well-known drawings at Rotterdam, Chatsworth and Windsor Castle, was sketched in an unstable equilibrium, in a contrapposto  which involved and united the three groups of figures: Leda in the centre, the Swan to her left and the children issuing from the eggs at her right. Here the contrapposto was intended as an expression of Leda’s dramatic indecision between her lover Jupiter and her new-born children. The kneeling Leda was quoted by Giampietrino in his painting at Kassel, which unfortunately was exhibited only as a photographic reproduction. By eliminating the figure of the swan, Giampietrino rejected the subtle ambiguity and the complexity of Leonardo’s design. Some Tuscan representations of the ‘Virgin and child with Saint John’ of the first half of the sixteenth century show an awareness of the double meaning of Leonardo’s contrapposto, in both its formal and emotional value. In this respect, the exhibition avoided a merely iconographic approach, displaying as it did how a motif or a stylistic detail spread from Leonardo to other artists, who however were not always interested in retaining Leonardo’s intended meaning to the full.

            The exhibition offered the observer the chance to rethink in a new way the complex history of Leonardo’s legacy and his imitators. It is important to stress the differences between how sixteenth-century Tuscan and Lombard painters looked at and studied Leonardo’s Leda. But they all show attempts to regain the lost authority of tradition, which Leonardo had surpassed, by avoiding the more heterodox and problematic aspects of the master’s composition. As simpler and less ambiguous, the standing Leda composition was often imitated, from the Uffizi’s anonymous Spiridon Leda  (newly restored for this exhibition), to Andrea del Sarto’s Brussels Leda  (unfortunately not showed in Vinci), and to the small but precious Leda by Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. This last painting forms a good introduction to the study of the affinities connecting the two eccentric young painters with Leonardo’s ambiguous and elusive expressive vocabulary.

            The exhibition opened with a section devoted to ancient models of the myth of Leda, and closed with a reflection on ‘L’altra Leda’ – the other Leda – originally painted by Michelangelo, carved in marble by Bartolomeo Ammannati, and finally painted again by an anonymous artist of the Fontainebleau school. By expressing a very straightforward meaning, this version, with Leda ‘concubans cum cigno’, avoided all the ambiguities of Leonardo’s composition. Moreover, inspired by ancient models and thanks to Michelangelo, it soon became much more famous than Leonardo’s designs. The legacy of Leonardo’s Leda did not survive beyond the last decades of sixteenth century: Leonardo’s mysterious and elusive inventions shared the same destiny as Arachne’s fragile web, on which the stories of Jupiter’s loves were first represented.

 

Leonardo da Vinci drawings in two exhibitions to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002

 

Two of the exhibitions to be held in connection with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee next year include works by Leonardo da Vinci. The first is a touring show of ten of Leonardo’s finest drawings in the Royal Library: the drapery study for the Virgin of Rocks; one of the studies for the Sforza horse, the map of Valdichiana, a sheet of studies of mortars, the study for the Neptune drawing for Antonio Segni, the study of a blackberry plant, a profile of a youth, one of the studies of optics, the anatomy of the shoulder; and the study of a tempest. This will be held at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight (15 February – 21 April), at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea (26 April – 7 July), at the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield (12 July – 22 September), and at the Ulster Museum, Belfast (27 September – 8 December). The opening exhibition of Treasures from the Royal Collection at the new Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, scheduled to open in late May and to run for the rest of the year, will include seven Leonardo drawings among a group of about fifty fine old master drawings. In due course an announcement will be made about the new Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

 

An exhibition of female portraits of the Italian Renaissance at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 30 September 2001 – 6 January 2002

 

Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci forms the centrepiece of an exhibition entitled Virtue & Beauty, currently on show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Focusing on the flowering of female portraiture in Florence from around 1440 to 1540, the exhibition also includes several male portraits, Northern European and courtly analogues, and works that relate specifically to the Ginevra de’ Benci portrait. The works on view illustrate the broad shift that occurred in the period from the profile portrait to the three-quarter or frontal view of the sitter. Many important portraits and related works have been loaned to the exhibition, including Ghirlandaio’s Giovanna Tornabuoni from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Verrocchio’s Lady with a Bunch of Flowers from the Bargello, Florence, Botticelli’s Simonetta Vespucci? and Bronzino’s early Portrait of a Lady, both from the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, and the ‘Study of Hands’ from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. A symposium on Beauty Adorns Virtue: Renaissance Portraits of Women, held on 5 – 6 October, concluded with papers on Leonardo’s portraits of Ginevra de’ Benci and Mona Lisa, given respectively by Mary Garrard and Joanna Woods-Marsden.

 

A travelling exhibition on Leonardo e L’Europa

 

An exhibition entitled “Parleransi li omini...” Leonardo e L’Europa. Dal disegno delle idee alla profezia telematica, first mounted in Assisi in April 2000, this summer reached Nardė (via Naples, San Benedetto del Tronto, Florence and Rome), where it was on view from 1 July to 30 September. Aiming to present a ‘truer’ Leonardo, ‘fully human in his complexities and through his contradictions’, the exhibition includes the disputed Salvator Mundi, two early drapery studies (in a private collection in the USA), a number of paintings and drawings by artists in the circle of Leonardo, and models based on new interpretations of Leonardesque project drawings.

 

The controversy over the restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi in the Uffizi, Florence

 

In response to the Uffizi’s proposal to launch a campaign of restoration on Leonardo’s unfinished Adoration of the Magi, James Beck (Professor of Art History at Columbia University and director of ArtWatch International) organised for an open letter to be sent, on 30 April 2001, to Annamaria Petrioli Tofani (Director of the Uffizi, Florence) and Antonio Paolucci, Soprintendente delle Belle Arti in Florence. Signed initially by twenty-one Leonardo scholars (subsequently followed by at least twenty more), this letter called for a halt to the campaign for further consideration of the ‘unique philosophical and methodological problems’ raised by the proposition of restoring an unfinished painting. In his response on 29 May 2001, Antonio Paolucci wrote that at that point the painting was ‘undergoing a scrupulous and careful diagnostic campaign’, on the basis of which, and ‘having evaluated the possible effects but also the possible risks’, he will decide whether the restoration should go ahead. He further states that if the diagnostic campaign convinces him that there is no case for cleaning the painting, it will be rehung without being touched. Later in the summer, Paolucci announced that he intends to hold a public meeting to discuss the results of the diagnostic tests. These tests, by which the state of conservation of the painting and the materials and technique used by Leonardo should be fully established, were at the end of October close to completion.

            It is generally accepted that if the tests demonstrate the need for stabilisation of the panel and the paint layers, this should proceed. The controversy revolves around whether a campaign of conservation should, or needs to, include full cleaning. To remove earlier layers of varnish and restoration, and perhaps to retouch in order ‘to recuperate [the painting’s] complete readability’, in the words of Alfio Del Serra, the Uffizi’s principal restorer, would, as James Beck writes, be the result of a purely aesthetic and not a technical decision. It is hoped that a further report on this controversial issue will be printed in issue 20 (May 2002) of this Newsletter.

 

David Hockney, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters, London: Thames and Hudson, 2001, pp. 296, bibl., index, ISBN 0-500-23785-9.

 

J.V. Field writes: In today’s terms, this book deals with a meeting of art and science: the possible use of mirrors or other optical devices by a number of  famous painters, including Jan van Eyck (fl.1422 – 1441), Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) and Ingres (1780 – 1867). In this sense, Hockney’s book may be seen as developing out of Philip Steadman’s Vermeer’s camera (Oxford University Press, 2000), which presents a proof that Vermeer (1632 – 1675) made extensive and repeated use of a camera obscura.

            However, the style of the two books is very different. Hockney provides documentation for a hunch rather than proposing to prove a precise thesis. Moreover, his evidence is related to a number of cases rather than being assembled with direct relevance to a single one. Perhaps this is appropriate for a painter, whose work is to produce suggestive images that tempt us to linger in front of them. In contrast, it is an academic’s business to construct a battery of arguments that together make a more or less knock-down proof. So this is not really an academic book. But academics may well find it interesting reading, and much of it is very good indeed to look at. There are 460 illustrations, of which 402 are in colour.

            The book is in three parts: ‘The visual evidence’, ‘The textual evidence’, ‘The correspondence’. The first part is notable for sharp visual insights that obviously come through a practitioner’s eye. Hockney has noticed many things that art historians seem to have missed. Moreover, he has actually carried out some of the procedures he suggests were followed (such as using a ‘camera lucida’ to draw portraits, as he suggests was done by Ingres), and he shows us the results.

            Historians of science are sometimes challenged – usually by scientists – about how far one needs to understand the actual technicalities of practising a science in order to understand its history. The debate has sometimes been acrimonious. Art historians are less often confronted with a challenge from a painter, but we seem to have one here; in parts of this book, Hockney has done what no historian could do, because he has skills and experience that allow him to put himself in the artist’s place and to make it clear that the ‘scientific’ aids do not substitute for an artist’s skill. There are virtues other than that of being conclusive.

            Hockney suggests that, in making portraits, Ingres used the then newly-invented ‘camera lucida’, a device whereby an image seen through a prism appears in the plane of the paper and can thus be traced by the artist. This is argued in some detail and the suggestion has been taken up by Martin Kemp in a short essay first published in Nature ('Lucid looking', reprinted in M. J. Kemp, Visualizations: The ‘Nature’ book of art and science, University of California Press, 2001). I find the visual evidence for Hockney’s other suggestions, that many artists made use of images projected by concave mirrors and that some may (like Vermeer) have used a ‘camera obscura’, rather more ambiguous.

            The difficulty seems to lie not in the visual evidence itself but in its relation to the ‘textual evidence’ in the second part of the book. There is almost no relation. That is not to say that I know of sources that Hockney should cite but omits to cite. For the earlier artists – for whom I feel competent to comment on the contemporary science – we have little evidence but some of it is negative. For example, Alberti (1404 – 1472) mentions mirrors in connection with surveying, but not in connection with painting. And there is no evidence for the use of concave mirrors except as burning glasses, for which good optical quality is not necessary. Lenses are even more difficult. Indeed it has been objected that Vermeer would not have been able to obtain a suitable lens for his camera. In that case, however, the mathematical evidence is overwhelming, and one can point to optical expertise close by, for example Christiaan Huygens (1629 – 1693) the son of the notable art collector Constantijn Huygens (1596 – 1687). Moreover, it is hard to doubt that if either Kepler (1571 – 1630) or Galileo (1564 – 1642), both persons of insatiable curiosity, had an inkling that artists were using optical devices, they would have written about it, even if only in letters to their friends. Of course, silence is not evidence, and it partly illustrates the peril of calling a book ‘Secret Knowledge’, but the highly imperfect interlocking between the first and second parts is nonetheless awkward.

            The third part of the book contains Hockney’s correspondence with experts on optics, art historians and others, and sheds some light on these issues of how one may build bridges between textual and visual evidence. The final result is a very interesting book.

 

A Leonardo da Vinci drawing sold at Christie’s in July

 

A study in silverpont on beige prepared paper was sold by John Carter Brown, former Director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., at Christie’s on 10 July 2001 for £8,143,750, an auction room record for a work by Leonardo. The drawing is a study for a horse and rider, made in preparation for Leonardo’s unfinished Uffizi Adoration of the Magi. It shows characteristically sketchy adjustments to the position of the rider’s head and facial expression, and foreshadows Leonardo’s lifelong interest in the anatomy, surface textures and movements of the horse.

 

A postscript on ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse’

 

In an earlier issue of this Newsletter it was stated that the long-running saga of the project to recreate the horse modelled by Leonardo da Vinci to be cast in bronze for the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, was completed with the installation of a full-scale cast in Milan. However, in a further ramification which should be reported here, an eight-foot replica of the Milan cast has been erected in the Piazza della Libertą at Vinci, where Leonardo was born in 1452 and where the internationally celebrated Biblioteca Leonardiana is located. Giancarlo Faenzi, the Mayor of Vinci, has had the piazza re-landscaped, and new lighting has been installed. The eight-foot horse has been set up on a specially designed plinth, very different in character from that for the Milan version. The formal unveiling ceremony and dedication of the Vinci horse was to have been held on Saturday 15 September, but on account of the events of 11 September it was postponed until 17 November 2001.

 

The Leonardo da Vinci Society

 

We would always be grateful for suggestions of material, such as forthcoming conferences, symposia and other events, exhibitions, publications and so on, that would be of interest to members of the Society for inclusion in this Newsletter or on the webpage, which can be visited at <http://giorgio.hart.bbk.ac.uk/davinci/>

           

            President: Dr J.V. Field, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H.0PD; e-mail: jv.field@hart.bbk.ac.uk

            Vice-President: Professor Francis Ames-Lewis, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H.0PD; 020.7631.6108; e-mail: f.ames-lewis@bbk.ac.uk

            Secretary/Treasurer: Dr Gabriele Neher, Department of Art History, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7.2RD, UK; e-mail: Gabriele.Neher@nottingham.ac.uk

            Committee members:

            Rodney Palmer, 88 Ifield Road, London SW10.9AD;  e-mail: rodpalmer63@hotmail.com

            Frank A.J.L. James, Royal Institution Centre for the History of Science and Technology, Royal INstitution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1X.4BS; e-mail: fjames@ri.ac.uk

           

Please send items for publication to the editor of the Leonardo da Vinci Society Newsletter, Francis Ames-Lewis, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD; fax: 020.7631.6107; e-mail: f.ames-lewis@hart.bbk.ac.uk