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

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

bartolomeo_cristofori
Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...

View

Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

gondoliere
Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...

View

Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

rosso_tiziano
Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...

View

Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Museo-delle-Nuvole-Monte-Rite-a-Cibiana
Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...

View

Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

gondola
Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View