Hidden treasures

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

Historical Curiosities
Leonardo

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

Latest posts

Treviso: Villa Condulmer in Mogliano Veneto and Giuseppe Verdi

villa-condulmer
Big Names

Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century... Even those who are not Opera experts recognise the arias of h...

View

Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

teatro-anatomico-padova
Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...

View

Venice: The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

presepe-sommerso
Unknown places & works

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbo...

View

Venice: The chapel of Saint Lucia in the Church of St. Jeremiah in Venice

s-geremia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

In many parts of the world, December 13th, the shortest day of the year, is dedicated to the celebration of the feast of Saint Lucia. H...

View

Top posts

Vicenza: The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

olimpico-scenografia
Historical Curiosities

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influence...

View

Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

castello-monselice
Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...

View

Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Otello
Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...

View

Venice: The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

giardino-eden-venezia
Unknown places & works

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the G...

View