A recent reading of one of the most famous drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, entitled “Landscape with river”, it is rewriting history of Italian genius.
Not only, but also that of Bottega where he was an apprentice, and a pleasant naturalistic locations South of Umbria, Marmore Falls (Terni) and the surrounding area.
Author, title, technical data.
Leonardo da Vinci (Anchiano 1452 – Amboise 1519)
Landscape with river – known as “F8P”
technique: pen drawing on white paper
Size: 28,5×19,0 cm;
made on August 5th 1473, first work dated by the same author.
Detailed description of the painting.
Sourced by the Mediceo Lorenese Fundation and kept at the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints of Florence’s Uffizi Museum, the drawing shows a panoramic view of a valley with mountains, hills, rivers, castles, villages.
On the left side at the top of the drawing Leonardo himself writes in a left-handed mirror, from right to left: “Dì de Sta Maria della Neve / Adì 5 daghosto 1473” – “day of St. Mary of the Snow, August 5th, 1473”; an at bottom right his personal signature.
The date of 5th August 1473 makes the first dated work of Leonardo, the first Western pure landscape where no human figures appear, which it becomes main subject and free image by sacred or profane subject.
Attributions of the most authoritative scholars wanted to locate officially the painting in the Valley Lower Arno river (from Malmantile), where Leonardo had spent childhood; then in 1985 Vezzosi indicated the most likely perspective view of the Valdinievole and the Padule from the hills near Vinci town (hill of Monsummano Alto and Padule), with the conference “The Valdinievole of Buggiano and Leonardo “Praetorian Palace in Buggiano (Montecatini Terme).
Vezzosi taken August 5, 1473 as reference date, and the name of Santa Maria della Neve day time and place in which Leonardo studied the territory close to Vinci for the project of channels for Arno river that would cross Prato, Pistoia, Valdinievole and Padule.
Latest location news by experts team, starts by discovery made by a Milan art historian Luca Tomìo and intuition of his six year old son, seeing that his father object of study was Leonardo’s drawing he simply linked Marmore Waterfall. New place allocation, discovered by a child studying at elementary schools Leonardo Da Vinci in Terni, was so obvious that the Tomìo did nothing but confirm the previous indications of paleontologist geologist Carmelo Petronio of the Department of Earth Science – University Sapienza of Rome, which saw the drawing by Leonardo, had already identified a more suitable South of Umbria geology rather than Tuscany, reunite an experts committee (Vittorio Sgarbi, Miro Virili, Vladimiro Coronelli, Carmelo Petronio, Federico Nannurelli, Stefano Notari, Andrea Giardi, Bruno Vescarelli, Cristina Acidini, Francesco Scoppola each for their specific academic preparations) for a more detailed study and confirmation.
On December 12nd 2016, the first report of study activities were presented to public and press.
Scientific Committee Studies on the Work activities of Marmore Falls.
10:30 Teatro Sociale in Amelia, the discovery of Luca Tomìo was illustrated by the presentation of Vittorio Sgarbi to institutions and representatives of scientific community with sponsorship of Umbria Region.
12:45 Palazzo Montani Leoni in Terni (Foundation headquarters CARIT bank) Vittorio Sgarbi and Luca Tomio met institutions and press for the conference titled “Leonardo in Umbria”.
14:30 Upper Belvedere ” Pius VI Observatory” City of Terni opened the inaugural tour “on Leonardo’s footsteps” at presence of Mayor of Terni, institutions, scholars, enthusiasts and concerned citizens. The trail includes guided visits organized by the management of the Site
tourism of Marmore. 074462982 – http://www.marmorefalls.it/
A careful study of Leonardo design identifies all locations and architectural, naturalistic references, landscaping and land from the time of observation, identifying all of the reference Waterfall and the Conca Ternana, the double vision in which Leonardo portrays; the vision of the waterfall from the point of observation from the most daring low Valnerina and the landscape that can be seen by looking in the backward path of Sgurgola (street and mountains above the Valnerina and Nera river, which leads to the waterfall on the Leonardo observation point) . All references in the drawing are:
Collestatte, Valnerina, Torre Orsini, San Giovanni Hills- Villa Graziani, St. John Penne (border Cesi), Colleluna, Torre Cervara, Papigno Castle, Valley spiers, Sgurgola street, Hill of St. John, Martani and Amerini mountains, across a limestone formation – massive limestone inserted in the prehistoric Lake Tiber (cone of Monsummano and Valdarno has a geomorphology not compatible with the design of Leonardo). front and back of Leonardo draw.
Even the shape of the waterfall, has the correspondence of Leonardo observation period, and here the comparison with other paintings of the Falls of the time is substantial. In the paintings of Spagna the waterfall is taken from the lower Valnerina.
Giovanni di Pietro called Spagna (1450 – Spoleto 1528)
Baptism of Christ between Saints Sebastian and Rocco (1527-1532) -semicatino of San Giovanni Battista Church – Eggi of Spoleto (Pg).
Follower of Perugino and interpreter of the art innovations of Raffaello his artistic production in Spoleto and Valnerina, had influence on painters in southern Umbria. Baptism in the landscape the artist has depicted Marmore Falls, mountains behind Cesi and Terni.
Marmore Waterfall is an artificial natural spectacle created by man for the remediation of upstream land. In three jumps the Velino river waters flow into Nera river.
The Romans were the first to realize them to eliminate the wetland that had formed for the stagnation of water.
It was the Roman Consul Manlius Curio Dentato in 271 BC year to order to built a channel which took the name of Cavo Curiano to direct them to Marmore jump. With the fall of the Roman Empire the canal was abandoned and the marshy area continued to infest the area for centuries.
The state of the Church in the year 1422 by Pope Gregory XII undertook the construction of a new channel which took the name of Reatino or Gregorian Cavo.
The Pauline Cavo was the work of Antonio Sangallo the Younger commissioned by Pope Paul III around the year 1520. In 1598 the Curiano quarry was extended by Pope Clement VIII, who was renamed as Cava Clementine. The intervention did not solve the continuous flooding that occurred in the valley. Only with Pius VI in 1787 the problems were solved by the architect Andrea Vici who gave the present layout and appearance to jump.
The rocky outcrop where waterfall turn off, the rounded ridge without vegetation, the fall, the basin, the Marmore speculum with left exit and cataract coming down the black and the weir is compatible with the view that had resumed Leonardo, the Pauline cavo.
Leonardo, young twenty year old is the world’s first tourist, starting from Tuscany, arriving in Umbria, like the Petrarch travel for descovery of the surrounding area.
Probably Leonardo movend in the Umbrian area with his Verrocchio Master and a brigade including Piermatteo of Amelia and Perugino painters. The design have a travel diar features, notes for the study of landscape.
… Vasari gave his vesion: “…but it is also possible that it was done only for personal pleasure”, according to the passion of Leonardo mentioned also by Vasari to” drawing and take survey, like things that he prefet to do more than any other”.
In 1469 Piero, sent his son Leonardo in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio (Florence, 1435 – Venice, 1488). Verrocchio versatile artist, active mainly at the court of Lorenzo de ‘Medici for whom he produced most of the visual arts at his court. Verrocchio’s workshop was one of the most important in Florence, because it forged best new talented artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Lorenzo di Credi.
The workshop had an intense multifaceted activities: drawing, painting, sculptural techniques -stone, molding, wood-, including the Minor arts, carpentry, mechanics, engineering and architecture. Great importance was given to the design for which was a primary concern.
Leonardo’s painting style.
Leonardo started from a careful observation of reality, and felt drawing the fundamental instrument to play it. The observation of the subjects also gave him the opportunity to study the changes that were brought about by dimming light. In this context he sensed a way to put a different meaning to the environment that the artist wanted to play, from the sun at the zenith of the desert to bondoire a more intimate portrait, thus giving expression of grace, form, elegance, delicacy, or the inverse to a scene.
“Gradient” style of Leonardo, consists of the light and shadows taken from the technique of chiaroscuro in the drawing in which the contours are unified and merge, with the use of the endless tint for which the figures are rounded and then adjacent.
Leonardo had realized that with increasing distance from the observation point the air (due to dust, humidity and mists) that remains transparent but makes the soft edges, the colors less sharp and the color range produces a dominant blue grey that we can formulate as aerial perspective.
The overall effect of all these modulated pictorial discoveries with the other technical characteristics of the Renaissance workshop (Verrocchio) enable him to get a clear sense of space and depth that exceeds the limits imposed by the mere prospective.
In portrait of human figure, use a careful study of the character, expression, to the deepest feelings expressing nature in harmony with the surrounding landscape, the flowing reasons, often playing with the ambiguity of human and natural and vegetal elements.In this sense he will overcome all his workshop colleagues.
From closer inspection the painting in question could be attributed by the writer to a coach design commissioned by Verrocchio for the Baptism of Christ.
The Baptism of Christ oil and tempera on canvas (177×151 cm) Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli, 1475-1478 Uffizi Gallery – Florence.
Between 1474 and 1475 realized Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ, now in the Uffizi, the young pupil Leonardo da Vinci, who painted almost certainly the angel on the left and the paesistici seabed.
Baptism, commissioned work around 1470 and prepared in about 10 years for the Vallombrosa Monastery of San Salvi in the period in which Verrocchio’s workshop was the most important of Florence.
The hypothesis starts from the consideration that the background for a Baptism of Christ had to contemplate a landscape compatible with the localities of the Jordan River (located at the foot of Mount Hermon). The falls could be an important area of study, for a young artist.
Leonardo at the waterfall is considered a preliminary research, study meeting, to attribute with certainty the great importance design for Art History, continues with passion and openness for those who want to collaborate with their intuition.
The team is studying other drawings by Leonardo in which other Umbrian landscape are included, among which the most interesting is a drawing conserved at the National Gallery in London, where the protagonist is the Amelia Bridge.