Ginevra de' Benci painting by Leonardo da Vinci at the age of 24

made out of oil paint and tempera and poplar panel from 1476 to 1478

38.8 x 36.7 cms (151/4 x 141/4 ins)

National Gallery of Art Washington, United States, North America

No description at this time.


Art by artists at the same age


Plastic Perception see all


The Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes arrives in Florence, bringing new painterly techniques from Northern Europe which were to profoundly affect Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and others.
Leonardo da Vinci is anonymously accused, along with three others, of committing sodomy with Jocopo Salterelli (a 17-year-old part-time model in Verrocchio’s studio).
Cardinal della Rovere acquires the bishopric of Coutances, along with the archbishopric of Avignon.
Galeazzo Maria Sforza is assassinated, leaving his throne to his seven-year old son, Gian Galeazo Sforza.

April 26

At about 15 in the forenoon (11 a.m.) in Santa Maria del Fiore, whilst high mass was being celebrated and the Host elevated, Giuliano, son of Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, and Francesco Nori were killed, near the choir of the said church towards the door which goes to the Servi; and Lorenzo de' Medici was wounded in the neck, and fled into the sacristy and escaped. They were killed in consequence of a certain conspiracy made by Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi and Franceschino de' Pazzi and Guglielmo de' Pazzi, the which Guglielma was he brother-in-law of Lorenzo de' Medici, his wife being a sister of theirs, called Bianca. And the sons of Messer Piero de' Pazzi were also there, that is, Andrea and Renato and Niccolo; and of the house of Salviati, there were Francesco, Bishop of Pisa, and Jacopo Salviati, who was son-in-law to Filippo Tornabuoni, and another Jacopo also a Salviati, and Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, Bracciolini and Bernardo Bandini of the house of Baroncegli, and Amerigo Corsi, and many others. The conspirators brought Cardinal di San Giorgio(1) here, who was a young man; he entered Florence on the day above-mentioned, and they all came together in Santa Maria del Fiore, and, as I have said, at the elevation of the Host seized their swords, and it is said that Francesco de' Pazzi struck Giuliano, and Bandini the other. And having killed Giuliano they wanted to kill Lorenzo, but did not succeed, as he fled into the sacristy. Meantime the Bishop de' Salviati, with Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, and two of his relatives who were both called Jacopo, went to the Palagio, with several priests, feigning to desire to speak to the Signoria, and they spoke to the Gonfaloniere, and became somewhat confused. The Gonfaloniere perceived the treachery, and he and his companions shut themslves up here and there, and ordered the doors to be closed, and the bell run for a parlamento. And what with the rumour which came from Santa Maria del Fiore of Giuliano's death and the bell ringing at the Palagio, the city was immediately in arms. And Lorenzo de' Medici was taken to his house. Meantime Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi rushed on horseback to the Piazza de' Signori, crying "_Popolo e liberta!_" (The People and Liberty!), wishing to take the Palagio, but the bishop not having succeeded in getting possession of it, Messer Jacopo was not able to enter. He then went towards his own house, and was advised to take to flight; and he fled by the Porta all Croce, together with many men-at-arms, in the Piazza and at Lorenzo de' Medici's house. And numbers of men on the side of the conspirators were killed in the Piazza; amongst others a priest of the bishop's was killed there, his body being quartered and the head cut off, and then the head was stuck on the top of a lance, and carried about Florence the whole day, and one quarter of his body was carried on a spit all through the city, with the cry of: "Death to the traitors!" That same evening the cardinal was taken to the Palagio, barely escaping with his life, all his companions being captured without exception. And the bishop remained in the Palagio with all the rest. And that evening they hung Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, from the windows of the Palagio de' Signori, and likewise the Bishop of Pisa, and Franceschino de' Pazzi, naked; and about twenty men besides, some at the Palagio de' Signori, and others at the Palagio dell Podesta and at the Casa del Capitano, all at the windows. The next day (the 27th) they hung Jacopo Salviati, son-in-law of Filippo Tornabuoni, and the other Jacopo, also at the windows, and many others of the households of the cardinals and of the bishop. And the day after that (the 28th April, 1478), Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi was captured at Belforte. And that evening of the 28th, about 23 in the evening (7 p.m.), Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi and Renato de' Pazzi were hung at the windows of the Palagio de'' Signori, above the _ringhiera_(2); and so many of their men with them, that during these three days the number of those killed amounted to more than seventy. The cardinal remained a prisoner of the Palagio, and no harm was done him, except that he was made to write to the Holy Father, with his own hand, all that had happened. And the same day the prisoners in the _Stinche_(3) managed to break open the prison, and all escaped - with the exception of one unfortunate man who was captured and hung. > (1) Rafaello Riario. > > (2) The _ringhiera_ was the platform consisting in three steps and railing, which used to be round the _Palagio_ (Palazzo Vecchio) on the front and on the north. It was used for haranguing the people and was only demolished in 1812, when the present steps and platform replaced it. (Trans.) > > (3) The _Stinche_ were the old prisons, which formed a large rectangular mass between the Via del Diluvio (now Via del Fosso), the Via del Palagio (now Via Ghibellina), the Via del Mercatino, and the Via de' Lavatoi. The exterior walls were extremely high, and windowless. The name was derived from that of a fortress which had rebelled against Florence at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and which the Florentines retook, bringing the prisoners back as a trophy. Originally intended for traitors and revels, these prisons were used afterwards for various purposes, even for madmen; whilst later on debtors and bankrupts were confined there, and others with life-sentences. In 1835, under the Grand-duke Leopold, it was decreed that they should be sold, and shops and houses were built on the area; also the large hall, called _Filamonica_, and riding-school, afterwards replaced by the Pagliani theatre, now called the Verdi. (Trans.)

August 15

Four of the city gates in Florence were closed; the first was Porta San Miniato, the second was the Porta all Giustizia, the third Porta Pinti(1), and the fourth the Porticciuola della Mulina (of the Mill).(2) > (1) The _Porta a Pinti_, demolished with the walls in 1866, was at the end of the Borgo Pinti, and was a very picturesque gate, with a group of old cypresses. (Trans.) > > (2) The _Porticciuola della Mulina_ was near the Prato, down by the river, leading to the _Mulina_ (Mill) of the _Vagaloggia_. It was sometimes called Pirticciuola del Prato. The three last gates were taken down when the walls were demolished. (Trans.)

November 26

Vlad the Impaler declares himself reigning Prince of Wallachia for the third and last time. He was killed on the march to Bucharest, probably before the end of December. His head was sent to his old enemy Sultan Mehmed of the Ottomans.

December 26

We heard that the Duke of Milan(1) had been stabbed and killed by one of his citizens called Giovanni Andrea,(2) who was moved to commit the crime by certain unjust acts of the duke. He was put to death by the populace, out of zeal for the common good. There were several conspirators; and the first who reached the duke was this Giovanni Andrea, who feigned to offer him a letter with one hand whilst he stabbed him with the other. It happened as with Scevola the Roman, when they took life for life. Such men are rarely found. And I believe that they carry out their crimes by divine permission. This was on the day of _Santo Stefano_, in church, during the mass. And when they tried to flee, they could not, because the crowd of people, and mostly the women who hindered them by spreading out their gowns(3) in such a way that the barons of the duke, and chiefly a certain Ghezzo who stood next to him, caught and slew the said Giovanni Andrea. And three others were taken and hung. Some people said that these three who were caught were quartered by four horses. > (1) Galeazzo Sforza. (Trans.) > > (2) Lampugnano. > > (3) The women used to sit on the floor during these long ceremonies. (Trans.)

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Amerigo Corsi family, family, family
Andrea de' Pazzi politician, politician, politician, politician
Andrea del Verrocchio painter, sculptor
Baroncegli family, family, family, family
Jocopo Salterelli artist's model
Leonardo da Vinci anatomist, painter, architect, sculptor, military engineer, scientist, inventor, writer
Lorenzo de' Medici patron, patron, patron, patron, patron, poet, poet, poet, poet, poet, ruler, ruler, ruler, ruler, ruler
Perugino painter
Pope Julius II pope, cardinal
Raffaele Riario cardinal, cardinal, cardinal, cardinal, cardinal


David bronze sculpture
Florence Cathedral cathedral, cathedral, cathedral, cathedral, cathedral
Palazzo Vecchio palace, palace, palace
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