Hidden treasures

Why is the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci located at the Accademia Gallery in Venice?

Historical Curiosities

Why is the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci located at the Accademia Gallery in Venice?

These days at the Accademia Gallery in Venice you can admire one of the most famous drawings in the history of art: the Vitruvian Man. It is a small ink drawing, but condenses the thought of Leonardo da Vinci on the human figure, which affected not only the Renaissance period. His idea was very simple: the proportions of the human body relate to the geometric shapes. The image has become so famous it has been reproduced in Italy on the one euro coin!

But why is this incredible work located in Venice?

We could say that in the nineteenth century the streets of the antique market were endless. In fact, until 1784 the work belonged to the Milanese Cardinal Cesare Monti, along with 16 other designs always attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, when the Countess Anna Luisa Monti gave them as a gift to Venanzio de Pagave, the secretary of the governor of Milan at the time of the Austrian empress Maria Theresa, who even reproduced them as engravings. In 1807, Giuseppe Bossi, a painter and writer and since 1801 the secretary of the Brera Academy in Milan, paid a substantial sum of money (6300 louis d'or (gold coins)) to obtain them and he continued throughout his life to collect the drawings of the great master Florentine. Finally Bossi collated his entire collection of drawings by Leonardo in a large volume, indicated by the letter K. In 1818 following the death of the collector, the Austrian government purchased his entire collection of drawings (almost 1800 pieces) and decided to assign them to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, which had been recently founded (1807) and was eager to add important pieces that gave eminence to its collections. The Vitruvian Man was therefore displayed in the Sala delle Riduzioni, and has been available to young students since 1822.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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