Luca Pacioli

Italian mathematician born in Sansepolcro (1445) and died in Rome (1517), aged 72


Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Florentine High Renaissance anatomist, painter, architect, sculptor, military engineer, scientist, inventor and writer

John Argyropolous (1415-1487) Byzantine translator, lecturer, philosopher and humanist


With the duke Ludovico Sforza's fall from power, Leonardo da Vinci flees Milan for Venice, with his assistant Giocomo Salai and friend, the mathematician Luca Pacioli.

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Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 47: duke
Luca Pacioli (1445-1517), aged 54: mathematician
Giocomo Salai (1480-1524), aged 19: painter


1 year later

Leonardo da Vinci and Luca Pacioli go to Mantua, then Leonardo continues on to Florence. In Mantua, he draws the Portrait of Isabella d'Este. In Florence, he paints the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

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2 years later

An anecdote from Luca Pacioli's De viribus quantitatis relates an incident with Leonardo da Vinci in his capacity as military engineer on campaign with Cesare Borgia.

One day Cesare Valentino, Duke of Romagna and present Lord of Piombino, found himself and his army at a river which was 24 paces wide, and could find no bridge, nor any material to make one except for a stack of wood all cut to a length of 16 paces. And from this wood, using neither iron nor rope nor any other construction, his noble engineer made a bridge sufficiently strong for the army to pass over.

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Source: Primary

Charles Nicholl; Nicholl, Charles. "Leonardo da Vinci. Flights of the Mind." E-book, p. 602.





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