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Archive for the tag “Leonardo da Vinci”

A lock of Leonardo’s locks….?

Leonardo da Vinci, from the link below

There are hopes that a lock of hair in the possession of a private collector in the United States may provide the key to Leonardo da Vinci‘s DNA. The hair is to be put on display at a function that is timed “….to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, which occurred on May 2, 1519….” The function will also mark the commencement of scientific investigations into the hair’s origins.

As with Richard III, the DNA of the hair will be traced through generations of Leonardo’s known family, to relatives who are alive now. Let us hope that a successful connection is made!

To read more, go to the Smithsonian magazine.

 

 

 

 

That unicorn is really a lap dog: The secret details in 4 classic paintings revealed….

Raphael: Lady with the Unicorn

I have always been fascinated by the mysterious way great paintings evolve., and have written on the subject before. In a manner of speaking. See here 

Now I have come across a very interesting article about a missing da Vinci fresco, and four great works by da Vinci, Raphael and Boticelli: da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi and The Annunciation, Raphael’s Lady with the Unicorn, and Botticelli’s Allegory of Spring.

It really is amazing what secrets lurk beneath the final painting!

da Vinci and the RAF centenary

Leonardo di ser Piero “da Vinci” (below left) was nearly six months older than Richard III, having been born in the Republic of Florence on 15 April 1452. Over his lifetime, which ended in 1519, he is best known for his paintings, such as The Last Supper or la Gioconda. However, he also left us a number of remarkable engineering and other sketches, depicting human and animal biology, geology and devices, including flying machines. The anatomical diagrams would have contributed towards the quality of his portraits in the same way that Stubbs studied the physiology of horses.

On the right is his 1488 design for a flying machine. In this, the centenary of the Armistice and of the RAF, it is interesting to compare it with aircraft from the First World War and to note that Leonardo also theoretically described a parachute, a concept with which later pilots would be very familiar.

An example (left) is the (French) Nieuport Fighter. 

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