These notes suggest an itinerary through two subjects of boundless extent as regards bibliography: the life and work of Leonardo and the historical-geographical topography of the Tuscany linked to him. To the information found in publications, everything available on Internet concerning these subjects has been added, as exemplified by the over 400 places he frequented, studied or at least mentioned, included in this application.
The basic coordinates for orientation in the immense Leonardian bibliography are some fundamental works, utilised as point of departure and then of comparison, for a research project that began with an exhibition held in 1980 (at Vinci) and a first publication in 1984 (Alessandro Vezzosi, La Toscana di Leonardo):
-the single booklet edited by Mario Baratta, I disegni geografici di Leonardo da Vinci conservati nel Castello di Windsor, Rome, Libreria dello Stato, 1941 (see also Leonardo genio e cartografo, edited by Andrea Cantile, catalogue of the exhibition held in Arezzo, IGM, Florence, 2003);
-the new editions of Leonardo’s manuscripts, published starting in 1973 in Florence, by Giunti Barbčra and then by Giunti Editore, edited by Augusto Marinoni (Codex Atlanticus and Manuscripts of the Istitut de France), Carlo Pedretti (Codex Hammer, Codex Arundel) and Ladislao Reti (Madrid Ms. I and II);
-the innovative contribution of the works of Carlo Pedretti, in particular: The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, a commentary to J. P. Richter, Oxford, 1977; The Codex Atlanticus of Leonardo Da Vinci. A catalogue …, New York, 1978-1979; Leonardo architetto, Milan, Electa, 1978; the repertories of the Windsor drawings and then those of Florence, Venice and Turin; and subsequently the ten volumes of the Achademia Leonardi Vinci: Journal of Leonardo Studies, Florence, Giunti, 1988-1997.
Since 1993 the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci has updated and extended this bibliographical material with an on-going work in progress that includes producing explanatory panels and captions for external exhibitions, events and sections of the Museum, as well as the "Vinci e Leonardo" news, summarised here.
For the ancient cartographic repertory, the main sources have been the texts of Pietro del Massaio (1456-1472) and the Atlante geografico , fisico e storico del Granducato di Toscana by Attilio Zuccagni Orlandini (Florence, 1832); for identification of today’s toponomy, the maps of the Istituto Geografico Militare di Firenze have been used as well as databanks such as those put on line by the Sistema Informativo Ambientale della Regione Toscana (SIRA).
For historical information, the ancient systematic sources, although not always reliable, and even less exhaustive in view of the great amounts of archaeological and archival materials existing, have however been found useful: from the Dizionario geografico fisico storico della Toscana by Emanuele Repetti (1833-1846) to the Storia di Firenze by Robert Davidsohn (Italian edition: Florence, Sansoni, 1956-1968).
Notable contributions to updating have come from several exhibitions – with their catalogues – curated by Paolo Galluzzi: from Prima di Leonardo, held in the Magazzini del Sale, Siena (catalogue Electa, 1991) to La mente di Leonardo, in the Museo degli Uffizi, Florence (catalogue Giunti, 2006); as well as from Leonardo da Vinci. La vera immagine (presented at the Archivio di Stato di Firenze), curated by Vanna Arrighi, Anna Bellinazzi, and Edoardo Villata (catalogue Giunti, 2005).
Numerous authors have devoted themselves to studies on the territory and research in the archives, from James Beck to the late Carlo Starnazzi, from Leonardo Rombai to Alessandro Cecchi, from Josephine Rogers Mariotti to Giuseppe Pallanti. Starting in 2008 the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci is publishing, edited by Agnese Sabato and Alessandro Vezzosi, new documents on the lives and places pertaining to Leonardo and his family, as well as the hitherto unpublished research of Renzo Cianchi (who died in 1985) and Elisabetta Ulivi.
Texts by Alessandro Vezzosi
English translation by
Last update 27/feb/2008