and his circle: some drawings housed in
collections in the United States
presenting the catalogue The
Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and his Circle in America, Patricia
Trutty-Coohill observes how, in recent years, sales of Leonardo’s
drawings and the sums paid by Americans for them have been remarkable.
The work was published in 1993, testifying to the inflation that struck
the art market in the 80’s and the American appreciation for this fragile
medium mentioning the 5.2 million dollars with which Armand Hammer
bought the Leicester Codex. As the author points out, in the United
States collecting Leonardo’s drawings is recent history (more than
half of the fifteen drawings found in American collections was added
after 1950) and during the last century Leonardo was held in great
consideration as a scientist as well as an artist.
Eleven million dollars were paid in 1989 for the first two
drawings in this section.
is well known, the Leicester Codex, re-named Hammer, was bought by Bill
Gates in 1994 carrying the auction bid from 10 to 30 million dollars in
one fair swoop, paying more than one thousand, three hundred million
lire per sheet (there are 36 sheets each measuring 29 x 22cm.)
Trutty-Coohill believes there were other factors besides inflation but
it is interesting to see what Bill Gates, who is firmly convinced in the
idea of Leonardo the scientist, had to say. “ Surprisingly little is
known about Leonardo, outside of what is found is these scientific “
notebooks”. […] Leonardo speculates on hydraulics, cosmology,
astronomy, geology, palaeontology and other topics.” And again:”
Leonardo was one of the most amazing people who ever lived. He was a
genius in more fields than any other scientist of any age and he was an
astonishing painter and sculptor. His “notebooks were hundreds of
years ahead of their time. They anticipated submarines, helicopters and
other modern inventions.”
Leonardo e la sua cerchia: alcuni disegni presenti nelle collezioni statunitensi.
Com’è noto, il Codex Leicester ribattezzato Hammer è stato acquistato da Bill Gates nel 1994 portando l’offerta d’asta da 10 a 30 milioni di dollari in un colpo solo, e pagandolo più di un miliardo e 300 milioni di lire al foglio (sono 36, e misurano 29x22 cm). Trutty-Coohill invocherebbe qualche altro fattore, oltre all’inflazione, mentre è interessante vedere cosa ha detto Gates, saldamente ancorato all’idea di un Leonardo scienziato. “Si conosce incredibilmente poco di Leonardo, all’infuori di quanto si trova in questi ‘blocchi per appunti’ scientifici. […] Leonardo specula su idraulica, cosmologia, astronomia, geologia, paleontologia e altri argomenti.” E ancora: “Leonardo è stato una delle persone più stupefacenti mai vissute. Era un genio in più settori di qualsiasi altro scienziato di ogni epoca, ed era un pittore e scultore straordinario. I suoi ‘blocchi per appunti erano centinaia di anni in anticipo sui loro tempi; in essi sono previsti sommergibili, elicotteri e altre invenzioni moderne.” [N.d.R.: lascio qui l’originale di Gates, per la futura traduzione: “Surprisingly little is known about Leonardo, outside of what is in these scientific notebooks. […] In the notebook, Leonardo speculates on hydraulics, cosmology, astronomy, geology, paleontology and other topics.” “Leonardo was one of the most amazing people who ever lived. He was a genius in more fields than any scientist of any age, and he was an astonishing painter and sculptor. His notebooks were hundreds of years ahead of their time. They anticipated submarines, helicopters and other modern inventions.”] Leonardo inventore e studioso, poi pittore e scultore (?) straordinario; nelle schede che seguono, e che sono numerate partendo dalla sezione precedente, vedremo invece soprattutto l’artista.