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

Venice: Andrea Palladio’s Tablino at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

tablino-palladio
Big Names

More than simply the rooms where many masterpieces are exhibited, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice are a work of art on their ow...

View

Venice: The 'Naval Battle' by Tintoretto at Doge’s Palace

Battaglia_Garda
Historical Curiosities

The ceiling of the Doge's Palace, in addition to being the largest wooden suspended ceiling in the world, is a real trove of painting m...

View

Venice: The origins of the Carnival in Venice

faliero-vitale
Local Traditions

When looking for information on the birth of the Venice Carnival, the first place to head for is St. Mark’s Basilica, the place where...

View

Verona: The Carnival in Verona

carnevale-verona
Local Traditions

When it comes to Carnival, everyone immediately thinks of Venice, but also the other cities of the Veneto region have ancient and charm...

View

Top posts

Venice: The tomb of Doge Andrea Gritti in the church of San Francesco della Vigna

Andrea_Gritti-tomba
Big Names

For the few daring visitors who decide to head to the Castello district, away from the crowds swarming around Piazza San Marco and the ...

View

Venice: Doge Pietro Tradonico and the Island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoon

poveglia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice lagoon, is considered by paranormal experts as one of the world’s most haunted places, normally...

View

Padua: Donatello’s Altar in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua

altare-donatello
Historical Curiosities

When visiting the city of Padua a not-to-be-missed monument is the magnificent Basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, a Francisc...

View

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View