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Writer

1425

April 14

on Thursday

Lorenzo Ghiberti receives a letter from Giovanni Turini, a goldsmith of Siena.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

Source: Primary

'Letters of the Great Artists', p. 14

1425

April 16

on Saturday

2 days later

Lorenzo Ghiberti to Giovanni Turini, goldsmith, of Siena:

Jesus Honourable friend, I received your letter the fourteenth day of April and saw therefrom how dear and faithful a friend I have in you, and also that you are well. Also of your good mind toward me, which you have ever displayed; inasmuch that in case of need you would help me to polish one of these stories (reliefs) and would do it willingly: the which I know I can come only of love to me, for the which may God bless you. You must know, dear friend, that the stories are almost completed; one is in the hands of Giuliano di Ser Andrea, the other I have; and they will be finished at the time I promised Messer Bartolomeo; in sooth they would have been finished long since, but for the thanklessness of those, my past companions, from whom I received not one injury, but many. Thanks be to God, I am out of their hands, for which I ever praise God, considering in what freedom I now find myself. Being quite without company, I intend to remain thus, master in my own workshop and able to receive any friend with a good and cheerful countenance. I thank you for your perfect goodwill towards me. And I heartily beg you to commend me to Messer Bartolomeo. Also I beg you heartily to find, if you may, some means by which I may recover the drawings of the birds I lent to Ghoro (dir Ser Neroccio, a goldsmith of Siena). I know that it will be no pains to you to beg Master Domenico, the wood-carver, that he send them back to me, for I hear say that these and all other things that were in the hands of the said Ghoro are now with Master Domenico. Greet him from me, and likewise Master Francesco di Valdambrina: and if there be aught that I can do here, I am always at your pleasure. There is nothing other to say. May Christ keep you in peace. Writ on the sixteenth day of April 1425. By your Lorenzo di Bartolo, goldsmith of Florence, your dear friend

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

Source: Primary

'Letters of the Great Artists', p.14-5

1438

December 6

on Thursday

13 years, 7 months, 27 days later

The operai of the Florentine Cathedral stated that in order to improve the level of divine worship there, Ugolino de Giugnis, a canon of the Cathedral, was commissioned to elect "Magister Benotto and his associates who sing at the church of San Giovanni (the Baptistry) to sing Vespers at Santa Maria del Fiore on festive and solemn days." Another document dated the same day mentions writing to Lorenzo de' Medici, "ambassador of Florence to the pope, presently in Ferrara,' so that he could inform the pope of the decision, specifying the number of singers to join Benotto as three.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

Source: Primary

http://www.jstor.org/stable/41701491?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

1450

October 15

on Tuesday

11 years, 10 months, 16 days later

I record that on the 15th October, 1450, I, Luca, son of Antonio, son of Luca Landucci, a Florentine citizen, of about fourteen years of age, went to learn book-keeping from a master called Calandra; and, praise God! I succeeded.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1452

January 1

on Thursday

1 year, 2 months, 18 days later

Luca Landucci enters the shop of the apothecary Francesco, at the sign of the Scala, in the Mercato Vecchio in Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

Agents

Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 16: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 1

1452

April 15

on Thursday

3 months, 15 days later

Leonardo da Vinci is born out of wedlock to a notary, Ser Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, in Vinci.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Vinci was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

1452

April 15

on Thursday

The event of Leonardo da Vinci's birth was recorded by his grandfather, Antonio, then about eighty years old, on the back page of an old notebook that had once belonged to his grandfather. On it he had already noted the births and baptisms of his own four children. There was just room at the bottom of the page to record this new arrival, this new generation -

  1. There was born to me a grandson, the son of Ser Piero my son, on the 15th day of April, a Saturday, at the 3rd hour of the night. He bears the name Lionardo.

The clock was then reckoned from sunset (or more precisely from the ringing of the Ave Maria bell after vespers). The third hour of the night was about 10:30 p.m.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1453

February 1

on Tuesday

9 months, 22 days later

The mother of Luca Landucci's father, Antonio, dies and is buried in San Piero Maggiore.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 17: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 1

1454

November 3

on Friday

1 year, 9 months, 5 days later

My father Antonio received his mother's inheritance, of which we possess a document giving the details; he inherited all her property both in Florence and in the country; amongst the rest a house which was left as a legacy to her and Antonio for their lives. Messer Otto Niccolini arranged a compromise, by which the monks of Castello, who had the reversion, were to pay Antonio twenty-three lire a year for the rest of his life, taking back the said house, and they paid this sum as long as Antonio lived.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1462

September 4

on Thursday

7 years, 10 months, 7 days later

I left Francesco, son of Francesco, the apothecary, at the sign of the Sun, who gave me, the sixth year, the salary of fifty florins, and I joined company with Spinello, son of Lorenzo, the hope of gaining more causing me to give up the gain which was sure. And we opened an apothecary's shop in the Mercato Vecchio (Old Market), at the sign of the King, which had formerly been the shop of a second-hand dealer, and had a very low roof. We raised the roof, and spent a fortune although I was unwilling to outlay so much. All was done without stint, one cupboard alone costing 50 gold florins. Seeing that the costs were so great, and that the said Spinelli had no money to produce, being very badly off, and considering besides that I had already spent 200 gold florins of my own, whilst he had not yet contributed a penny, although we had agreed to go shares.

Attachments
Piazza del Mercato Vecchio, by Giovanni Stradano

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1463

July 27

on Monday

10 months, 26 days later

And on the 27th July, 1463, we (i.e., Landucci and Spinello) agreed to separate, I telling him that I would leave him everything in the shop as it stood, without considering the cost, but that I must have my share of the profits, namely, 50 gold florins, for the time I had been with him, and he must repay me the money which I had put into it. And no agents were required. He replied that it should be so; but that I must give him a few months' time; and to this I agreed, as he gave me sufficient sureties, amounting to 200 gold florins, paid by his brother Lorenzo and Maestro Lorenzo, son of Maestro Leonardo.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1463

December 10

on Thursday

4 months, 16 days later

I left there (the apothecarium) on the 10th December, 1463, and began chaffering for the shop of San Pulinari; but we could not come to terms over it.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1466

May 24

on Thursday

2 years, 5 months, 16 days later

A Saturday and the eve of the Spirito Santo, I was wedded to a daughter of Domenico, son of Domenico Pagni, whose name was Salvestra. She had a dowry of 400 florins, in the state funds, praise God!

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1466

July 6

on Friday

1 month, 13 days later

A Sunday evening, I gave her the ring, the contract being made before Ser Giovanni, son of Francesco di Neri.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1466

September 1

on Saturday

1 month, 27 days later

(Because of a falling out with Spinello) I therefore repaired to Giovanni da Bruscoli, who was opening the shop of the Agnus-Dei, and who gave me 36 florins a year, so that I was able to buy the shop of the Tornaquinci, on the 1st September, 1466.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1466

November 23

on Friday

2 months, 23 days later

Luca Landucci moves his wife into his own house in Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:50 PM.

Agents

Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 30: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 8.

1467

1 month, 9 days later

Leonardo's apprenticeship

Leonardo da Vinci is sent to Florence to work as apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio.

Attachments
Leonardo in Verrocchio's studio painting his parts of 'The Baptism of Christ'

Astronomical Events

1471

4 years, 1 day later

Lorenzo de' Medici calculates that since 1434, his family has spent some 663,000 florins (approx. 460 million USD today) on charity, buildings and taxes. He writes,

I do not regret this for though many would consider it better to have a part of that sum in their purse, I consider it to have been a great honour to our state, and I think the money was well-expended and I am well-pleased.

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Astronomical Events

1471

May 26

on Friday

4 months, 25 days later

I bought some of the first sugar that came here from Madeira; which island had been subdued a few years before by the King of Portugal, and sugar had begun to be grown there; and I had some of the first.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Madeira was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1471

September 23

on Saturday

4 months later

Six ambassadors left Florence to visit the said Pope; namely: Lorenzo de' Medici, Messer Domenico Martegli, Messer Agnolo della Stuffa, Messer Bongianni Gianfigliazzi, Piero Minerbetti and Donato Acciaiuolo; and the said Pope made Piero Miberbetti a knight and he returned to Florence with this title.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:49 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1472

3 months, 10 days later

Leonardo da Vinci paints The Annunciation for the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo, near Florence.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

Luke Syson; Syson, Luke; Larry Keith, Arturo Galansino, Antoni Mazzotta, Scott Nethersole and Per Rumberg (2011). "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan". London: National Gallery

1472

July 1

on Monday

6 months, 2 days later

In the summer of 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo was registered as a member of the Florentine painters' confraternity, the Compagnia di San Luca. The company's ledgers record that

Lyonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci dipintore' was charged 32 soldi for the privilege of membership.

This included 16 soldi for his annual subscription, to be paid in monthly instalments from 1 July 1472, and 10 soldi as a contribution to the company's observances on the feast day of Saint Luke, 18 October.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1473

6 months, 4 days later

Leonardo da Vinci paints The Annunciation for the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo, near Florence.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

Martin Kemp; "Leonardo: Revised edition". Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

1473

August 5

on Tuesday

7 months, 6 days later

Leonardo da Vinci produces a pen and ink drawing of the Arno valley that is dated to this day. It is said to be one of the earliest Italian landscape drawings that focuses on the particular character of the location.

The drawing is said by some scholars to be a study intended for the 'Baptism of Christ', which Leonardo painted with Andrea del Verrocchio around this time.

Attachments
Drawing of the Arno valley by Leonardo da Vinci
Landscape from 'Baptism of Christ'

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci

1474

4 months, 29 days later

The Baptism of Christ

Andrea del Verrocchio, with a young Leonardo da Vinci, paints The Baptism of Christ.

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Astronomical Events

1475

March 6

on Saturday

1 year, 2 months, 4 days later

Michelangelo is born in Caprese Michelangelo.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Caprese Michelangelo was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1475

May 1

on Saturday

1 month, 26 days later

I, Luca Landucci, went to Rome for the Jubilee, and took with me my mother-in-law; and we travelled for fifteen days going and coming.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

Agents

Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 39: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 12.

1476

8 months, 5 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), aged 27: painter
Perugino (1446-1523), aged 30: painter

1476

Accusations of sodomy

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).

Attachments
Leonardo (far right) and others in court on charges of sodomy
The magistrates discuss the case of young Florentines, including Leonardo, who were anonymously accused of sodomy

Astronomical Events

1476

April 26

on Wednesday

3 months, 26 days later

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.)

Attachments
Bianca de' Medici is traditionally presumed to be the woman in the centre
Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici by Botticelli
Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici by Andrea del Verrocchio
The skull of Giuliano de' Medici, fractured from the blade that killed him
The Stinche, or old prisons of Florence, as shown in an engraving

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1478

1 year, 8 months, 10 days later

Leonardo da Vinci writes in his notebooks that he has begun "two Virgin Marys."

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Astronomical Events

1478

Leonardo da Vinci leaves Verrocchio's studio and is no longer resident at his father's house.

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Astronomical Events

1478

January

Leonardo da Vinci receives a commission to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of the Signoria in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Astronomical Events

1478

April 26

on Friday

3 months, 25 days later

On Easter Sunday, in an incident called the Pazzi conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzi family, backed by the Archbishop of Pisa and his patron Pope Sixtus IV, attacks Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano in the Cathedral of Florence. Giuliano is killed, but Lorenzo escapes with only a stab wound.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 64: pope
Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 29: patron; poet; ruler

1478

April 30

on Tuesday

4 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

(Ascension-day). The obsequies of Giuliano de' Medici took place in San Lorenzo.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1478

June 13

on Thursday

1 month, 14 days later

It was voted in Council to put on many new taxes, Sesti and Decime(1); and 50 thousand florins on the priests.

(1) The "Seventy," in the lifetime of Lorenzo, fearing the rigorous equality sought for by the Catasto, changed it to a form of subtle progressive taxation, which they called the Decima scalata. This apparently favoured the lower classes; there were certain cases in which the lower classes paid only a twentieth of their income, and the upper classes paid a Sesto (the sixth part). The Medici, however, were extremely clever in favouring their friends by sgravi (remissions), and oppressing their enemies by aggravi (increases) or demands for old debts. The citizens had to make a full declaration of their family, possessions and means, as for the Castato. A man who had twelve children was exempt, only having the pay the registration fee, so as to be eligible for office. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1478

July 5

on Friday

22 days later

The feast of San Giovanni was kept, not having been kept on the actual day, and perambulating shows went about, and there was a procession; the palio(1) was also run, and there were girandole and spiritegli and giganti(2) and many fine things, as if it had been the real day.

(1) The palio was actually the prize for which the races were so called were run, and consisted of a costly piece of drapery of velvet or silk, which was displayed at the winning-post. The famous palio of San Giovanni is mentioned by several historians as having taken place in the thirteenth century; the race was run from the Porta alla Croce to the Porta al Prato; and the prize was originally of scarlet velvet, and later of scarlet silk. (Trans.)

(2) The edifizi (shows mounted on carts) were platforms on wheels, upon which figures were placed, representing scriptural, mythological or other subjects, and sometimes short scenes were enacted. At the present time, on the day of San Giovanni, the band plays in the evening, mounted on a similar platform on wheels. (Trans.) Girandole were platforms covered with rockets and wheels of fire, which took the form of shops, houses, etc. Spiritegli were people on stilts, who admidst the dense crowd appeared to be walking in the air, over the heads of the rest, like spirits. Giganti were men with their feet bound to high stilts, who wore masks and were dressed up to appear like giants; they supported themselves on poles made to resemble walking-sticks (Vasari, Lives of the Painters). (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1478

July 13

on Saturday

8 days later

The King of Naples sent a herald to Florence, with the proclamation displayed, stamped with the arms of the king, and he went to the Signoria to declare war, being deputed to tell us that the king and the Holy Father were ready to oblige us in every way, if we sent away Lorenzo de' Medici: to which the citizens would not agree, and so war began.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1478

August 15

on Thursday

1 month, 3 days later

The French ambassador left; and at this time we lost the Castellina. And Messer Niccolo Vitelozzi(1) was going about sacking certain forts of Citta di Castello, and burning men, women, and children, with every sort of cruetly. After that, Messer Lorenzo of Citta di Castello(2) burnt some of our fortresses in the district of Arezzo, and committed atrocities, burning people. They were both cruel men. Such generally come to a bad end. Godly people, as we read in Holy Scripture, never come to a bad end.

(1) Or rather, Vitelli, ally of the Florentines and of Lorenzo de' Medici.

(2) Lorenzo Giustini, who held that city for the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Città di Castello was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1479

December 6

on Saturday

1 year, 3 months, 23 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici left Florence and went to the king at Naples.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1480

26 days later

The Anonimo Gaddiano claims that Leonardo da Vinci is living with the Medici and working in the Garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence, a Neo-Platonic academy of artists, poets and philosophers.

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Astronomical Events

1480

March 13

on Saturday

2 months, 12 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici arrived in Livorno, on his return from Naples. It was considered a marvel that he should have returned, as everyone had doubted the king allowing him to resume his post, and a still greater marvel that he should have been able to arrange everything so diplomatically. God help him!(1)

(1) Lorenzo de' Medici had gone on his own initiative, seeing that the war could no longer be borne, and not wishing to lose the favour and authority that he had acquired in Florence, especially after the Conspiracy of the Pazzi. The Florentines feared lest harm should come to him, and remembered the case of Jacopo Piccinino, who in 1465 unwarily put himself into the hands of the same king, and lost his life. Lorenzo, however, must have felt his ground carefully before moving, and when he returned after having concluded peace, he became more popular and powerful than ever.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.
Sunrise in Livorno was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.

1480

March 15

on Monday

2 days later

He (Lorenzo de' Medici) arrived in Florence at 21 in the afternoon (5 p.m.).

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:05 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1480

June 3

on Thursday

2 months, 20 days later

Messer Piero Vespucci was permitted to return to Florence, and was restituted in all his rights, according to the wish of the duke.(1)

At this time the price of grain fell to 15 soldi the bushel, and the like low prices.

(1) He, however, preferred leaving Tuscany, and went to offer his services to the Sforza in Milan, and was appointed Ducal Councillor by Ludovico il Moro. Sent to exercise his authority at the city of Alessandria, he met with a tragic end, being killed in 1485 in a popular rising.

Attachments
Portrait of Ludovico Sforza

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Tuscany was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1480

September 27

on Monday

3 months, 26 days later

A certain hermit came to the house of Lorenzo de' Medici at the Poggio a Caiano; and the servants declared that he intended to murder Lorenzo, so they took him and sent him to the Bargello, and he was put to the rack.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 31

1480

October 27

on Wednesday

1 month later

Lorenzo de' Medici sends a delegation of painters to Rome

Cosimo Rosselli leaves Florence for Rome, together with other Florentine painters, where he has been called as part of the reconciliation project between Lorenzo de' Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence, and Pope Sixtus IV. The Florentines start to work in the The Sistine Chapel as early as the Spring of 1481, along with Perugino, who is already there.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler
Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 66: pope
Perugino (1446-1523), aged 34: painter

1481

2 months, 6 days later

Michelangelo's mother dies.

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Astronomical Events

1481

Draft of a letter from Leonardo da Vinci to Ludovico Sforza:

Your Gracious Highness! I have sufficiently seen and tested the productions of all who are considered masters of the art of inventing war-machines. And since the working and function of these instruments is no different from that of the machines in common use, I shall endeavour -- approaching no one else -- to make myself clear to Your Excellency and reveal my secrets. I shall put them at your disposal whenever you desire and hope for good results from the things which I shall now briefly describe ...

First: I have a means of making very light bridges which can be very easily transported ... And I have others which are proof against fire and are thus indestructible in battle, easy to take down and put up again, and I also know of a means to get fire to the bridges of the enemy and destroy them. Secondly: In besieging a place I know how to cut off the water in the dikes, also how to construct many drawbridges and other apparatus necessary for such an undertaking. Thirdly: If during a siege the engines cannot be effectively used on account of the height or strength of the town wall, I have a means to destroy every tower or fortification ... Fourthly: I know of a kind of siege-engine which is very light and easy to move and which can be used hurl fire-bombs. Their smoke will terrify, confuse and severely injure the enemy. Fifthly: I know how to construct subterranean caves and winding passages which can be made without any noise ... Sixthly: I can make sound, indestructible armoured vehicles. If these reach the enemy with their cannons, they can compel the largest forces to retreat and afterwards the infantry can follow them in safety and without any let or hindrance. Seventhly: I can make, if necessary, bombards, mortars and other field-guns ... Eighthly: Where cannons cannot be used I shall construct stone-throwing machines, catapults, slings and other instruments, amazing and hitherto completely unknown ... Ninthly: If this should be necessary, I know of apparatus for use at sea for attack and defence, such as ships which can withstand the force of the strongest opponents and produce dust and smoke. In time of peace I believe I can achieve something in architecture, as well as another, both in building public and private buildings and in channelling water from one place to another. Further, I work as a sculptor in marble, bronze and clay and can paint as well as others with whom I may be compared. I could also add my labours to the bronze horse which is to contribute to the undying fame and eternal memory of your father and the renowned house of Sforza ...

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Source: Primary

Leonardo da Vinci; 'Letters of the Great Artists', p. 34-8

1481

March

1 month, 29 days later

Leonardo da Vinci receives a commission to paint The Adoration of the Magi for the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto, which he leaves unfinished.

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Astronomical Events

1481

June 2

on Thursday

3 months, 3 days later

One of the Frescobaldi, and one of the Baldovinetti, and one of the Balducci, were arrested; and on the 6th June they were hung from the windows of the Bargello, or rather, of the Casa del Capitano, having confessed that they had intended to murder Lorenzo de' Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1481

September 10

on Saturday

3 months, 10 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici married one of his daughters to Jacopo Salviati.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 32: patron; poet; ruler

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 33

1482

3 months, 23 days later

According to Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci, who is a talented musician, creates a silver lyre in the shape of a horse's head.

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1482

Leonardo da Vinci moves to Milan to work in the service of the city's duke, Ludovico Sforza. He gains the title of "painter and engineer" of the duke.

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1483

1 year later

Leonardo da Vinci makes a sketch of the design for the Arial Screw while in Milan.

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Astronomical Events

1483

February 12

on Monday

1 month, 12 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici left Florence, going as ambassador to Ferrara, in very fine array.(1)

(1) To the diet which was held there, to treat of negotiations with regard to the war.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.

1483

March 8

on Thursday

24 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici returned from Ferrara, where he had been honourably received as a man of merit.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1483

March 28

on Wednesday

20 days later

Raphael is born in Urbino.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Urbino was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

Agents

Raphael (1483-1520): painter; architect; poet

1483

April 25

on Wednesday

28 days later

Leonardo da Vinci accepts the commission for an altar painting offered by the confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, which had a chapel in the now demolished church of San Francesco Grande in Milan.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1483

June 14

on Thursday

1 month, 20 days later

A league was made with the Sienese for twenty-five years, and our fortresses were restored to us. At this time there died at Faenza a Brother of the Order of the Servi di Maria,(1) who had performed many miracles; the bells having rung of their own accord when anyone died, and sick persons being healed. People went to him from all the country round. I spoke to a trustworthy man, who said that he had witnessed these facts. Miracles were constantly happening; sometimes down by the river and sometimes up in the mountains; and sometimes he was seen speaking with a woman, who was the Virgin. I mention this to show that people were in the mood to expect great things from God.

(1) From the Historie di Faenza by Giulio Cesare Tonduzzi, and the Annali dell' Ordine de' Serviti by Arcangelo Giani, we find that this was the Beato Jacopo Filippo Bertoni, who died on the 25th May, 1483. These writers also testify to the prodigies referred to by Landucci, which so moved the Faentini that they wished honours to be conferred upon Misserino Bertoni dalla Cella di Monte Chiaro, father of the defunct, by a public decree.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Faenza was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1483

November 10

on Saturday

4 months, 29 days later

Three Florentine ambassadors left Florence, being sent to the King of France; they were Messer Gentile, Bishop of Arezzo, and Antonio Canigiani, and Lorenzo, son of Piero de' Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1483

December 3

on Monday

23 days later

Leonardo da Vinci agrees to deliver the Virgin of the Rocks to the confraternity in time for the Feast of the Conception of that year.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1484

January 1

on Tuesday

29 days later

The new Signoria(1) entered into office, and were stricter than the last. They sent for the citizens and required everyone to pay his debts; and they imprisoned them in the Bargello and the Stinche. Many were afflicted and worn out by so many wars.

In addition to other hardships, corn was sold at 50 soldi a bushel, beans at 46 soldi a bushel, white bread at 1 soldo 8 denari a pound, and flour rose to 3 lire a bushel.

On this 1st March our ambassadors returned from France, and Antonio Canigiani had been knighted by the French king. We did him honour, sending an escort to meet him.

The price of crushed beans now increased to 4 lire a bushel, peas to 5 lire, corn to 49 soldi, and everything dearer; and a little later corn rose to 3 lire 8 soldi a bushel.

(1) Alamanno Rinuccino in his Ricordi Storici also speaks ill of this Signoria.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in France was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1484

October 23

on Thursday

9 months, 26 days later

The State arrested a son of Filippo Tornabuoni, called Alessandro, and he was confined within certain boundaries in Sicily. It was said to be because he had designs against Lorenzo de' Medici, who was his relative; this may not have been the case, but I only repeat what was said.(1)

At this time Pietrasanta was besieged very closely. There were many of our commissaries there, with a fine troop of men.

The wax tapers and the palii were now removed from San Giovanni, and the order was given that they should no longer be placed there.(2) The church was thoroughly cleaned, and remained perfectly simple without these decorations; up till this time all the offerings of tapers and palii used to be placed here, so that nothing of the church itself could be seen.

(1) On the day of san Giovanni (24th June) the magistrates stood on the ringhiera of the Palagio, to receive the deputations sent by tributary towns, the palii being hung round the ringhiera in order: from Pisa, Arezzo, Pistoia, Volterra, Cortona, Lusignano, Castiglione, Aretino, etc. The tapers were brought on splendid painted cars. The Marzocco was crowned four days before and four days after, and during this time there was an indemnity for debtors, etc. The tapers and palii were all put in San Giovanni, the palii being hung on iron rings, and remaining there for one year, when they were removed to place for the fresh ones. The old ones were used for decoration on public fetes, or for altar-cloths, or were sold by auction. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Lusignano was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Cortona was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Sicily was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Castiglione was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pistoia was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Volterra was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1484

November 7

on Friday

15 days later

We captured Pietrasanta, which capitulated to Lorenzo de' Medici, and on the 11th we took the fortress. Piero, son of Filippo Tornabuoni, was made warden, and Jacopo Acciauoli commissary; Jacopo Acciauoli being put in command of the walls. The news reached here at 14 at night (10 p.m.), and the next day the shops remained closed, and there were great rejoicings and bonfires. And the same day Messer Bongianni Gianfigliazzi, another commissary there, was brought back to Florence dead.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1485

1 month, 25 days later

Michelangelo attends school and is taught by humanist Francesco da Urbino.

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Astronomical Events

1487

November 25

on Friday

1 year, 10 months, 28 days later

The Turkish ambassador presented Lorenzo de' Medici with certain perfumes in beautiful Moorish vessels, and flasks full of balsam, and a magnificent large tent, striped in the Moorish fashion.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1488

1 month, 7 days later

Michelangelo's first Florentine period

Michelangelo's first years in Florence were marked by his apprenticeship to Ghirlandaio and the patronage of the Medici.

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Agents

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), aged 39: painter

1488

April 16

on Monday

3 months, 16 days later

Two florins are paid to Michelangelo by Domenico Ghirlandaio under the terms of his apprenticeship.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

Agents

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), aged 39: painter

1488

June 12

on Tuesday

1 month, 27 days later

Messer Giovanni Bentivogli was liberated by the Florentines. Lorenzo de' Medici went into Mugello, where Messer Giovanni had been brought, and having conferred with him courteously, sent him back to Bologna with an escort and his mind set at rest.(1)

(1) This was not exactly the case, for Bentivoglio always bore a grudge against Lorenzo de' Medici afterwards. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1488

July 30

on Monday

1 month, 18 days later

Madonna Clarice, wife of Lorenzo de' Medici, died.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1488

Late

Leonardo da Vinci begins working on the apparatus for the festival celebrating the marriage of Gian Galeazo Sforza to Isabella of Aragon.

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Astronomical Events

1489

7 months, 4 days later

Leonardo da Vinci receives the Sforza commission from Ludovico Sforza, to cast the largest equestrian statue ever, in honour of Ludovico's father.

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1489

Leonardo da Vinci studies anatomy.

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1489

Lorenzo de' Medici grants Michelangelo's father a post at the Customs in Florence in reward for allowing him to take Michelangelo into his household.

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Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 40: patron; poet; ruler

1489

Michelangelo leaves the studio of Ghirlandaio and enters the household of Lorenzo de' Medici to study sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni, a pupil of Donatello.

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Astronomical Events

1489

March 10

on Sunday

2 months, 8 days later

We heard that the Pope had made six cardinals, who were as follows: two French, one Milanese, two of his nephews, and one Florentine, son of Lorenzo de' Medici.(1) Thank God! It is a great honour to our city in general, and in particular to his father and his house.

(1) Giovanni de' Medici, who later became Pope Leo X.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1489

July 16

on Tuesday

4 months, 8 days later

They began to dig the foundations on this side, and took about 10 braccia(1) off the Piazza.(2).

(1) A braccio was about 23 inches, so 10 braccia was about 19 feet (5.84 metres). (Trans.)

(2) The Piazza de' Tornaquinci; the Strozzi had permission from the Republic and from the consertia (assembly) of this family to occupy a portion of it. These records relating to the building of the palace are much more copious than those written by its founder and published in the appendix to the Vita di Filippo Strozzi (Firenzi, 1851). To show their exactitude they can be compared with those left us by Tribaldo de' Rossi in his Ricordanze.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1489

July 21

on Sunday

5 days later

They began to build the walls upon the aforesaid foundations.

And at this time the following buildings were erected:

The Osservanza di San Miniato de' Frati di San Francesco(1); the sacristy of Santo Spirito; the house of Giulio Gondi(2); and the church of the Frati di Sant' Agonstino,(3) outside the Porta a San Gallo. And Lorenzo de' Medici began a palace at the Poggio a Caiano, on his property, where so much has been beautifully ordered, the Cascine, etc. Princely things! At Sarrezana a fortress was built; and many other houses were erected in Florence: in the street which goes to Santa Caterina, and towards the Porta a Pinti, and the Via Nuova de' Servi, at Cestello,(4) and from the Porta a Faenza(5) towards San Barnaba, and towards Sant' Ambrogio, and elsewhere. Men were crazy about building at this time, so that there was a scarcity of master-builders and of materials.(6)

(1) The monastery (lately built near San Miniato) of the Osservanza, a Franciscan Order, who already had one at Fiesole. (Trans.)

(2) In our days we have just seen this palace completed on its southern side, thanks to the care of its owner. In finishing this work the remains of the house opposite in Via de' Gondi were demolished; this used to be the Casa della Dogana, and in still older times the Casa delle Prestanze, that Giuliano Gondi bought from the Arte della Lana (Guild of Wool) to use in his building, and in it Leonardo da Vinci lived as a boy, a fact which I was the first to prove in July 1872.

(3) Chiesa di Sant' Agonstino. In the siege of 1529 it was demolished together with the convent which was united to it. They occupied almost the same area as the parterre and oratory of the Madonna delle Tosse. The monks were moved into the city, where they were given the church of S. Jacopo tra' Fossi.

(4) Cestello was at that time the name of the present convent of S. Maria Maddalena in Borgo Pinto, which belonged to the Cistercians. In 1628 they exchanged it for that of the nuns of S. Maria degli Angeli of Borgo S. Frediano, still called S. Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi.

(5) See note to 8th June, 1481.

(6) In May 1489 the Signoria, desirous of providing for the beauty of the city, and for the wants and convenience of those who might wish to inhabit it, granted an exemption for forty years from any tax for those new houses which should be built within five years "in places where there was no house or any beginning of one." In March 1494 this term was prolonged to the end of the year 1497.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1489

July 22

on Monday

1 day later

Impatient with Leonardo's delays in completing the clay model for the The Horse, Ludovico Sforza writes to Pietro Alemanni, the Florentine Ambassador to Milan, asking him to find "a master capable of doing the work."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1489

August 31

on Saturday

1 month, 10 days later

Leonardo da Vinci asks Platino Plato, orator and poet, for an epigram to put on The Horse.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1489

Late

Leonardo da Vinci works on an allegorical representation called 'Paradise', commissioned by Lodovico Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

1490

7 months, 4 days later

Leonardo da Vinci breaks off his studies on flight and does not resume them till 1505.

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1490

Pietro Torrigiano breaks the nose of Michelangelo in argument while drawing in the Carmine, smashing it so hard that it never heals. The incident is described in a passage from Cellini's autobiography.

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Agents

Pietro Torrigiano (1472-1528), aged 18: sculptor

Source: Primary

Benvenuto Cellini

1490

Michelangelo studies from the frescoes of Masaccio at the Carmine with other students of the Medicean Academy.

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1490

Leonardo da Vinci meets and adopts Giocomo Salai, a 10-year-old boy.

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1490

April 23

on Wednesday

3 months, 22 days later

Leonardo da Vinci begins work on a new codex and resumes work on The Horse.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1490

June 15

on Sunday

1 month, 23 days later

Leonardo da Vinci goes to Pavia with Francesco di Giorgio Martini to advise on the construction of the cathedral.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pavia was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1490

June 27

on Friday

12 days later

I, Luca Landucci, opened my new shop, here opposite the said palagio of the Strozzi, and I chose the sign of the Stelle (Stars). The old shop at the other corner, which I left, belongs to the Rucellai, whist this one belongs to the Popoleschi.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1490

October 19

on Sunday

3 months, 24 days later

The bronze dragon was placed on the Palazzo Strozzi.(1)

(1) To understand and correct where necessary these notices, it will perhaps be a help to refer to the above-mentioned Tribaldo de' Rossi: "20th October, 1490, I record that at the palace which Filippo Strozzi is having built, the builders put up the campanella at the corner which is opposite the Loggia de' Tornaquinci, that is to say - the campanella del Serpente ...."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1491

2 months, 14 days later

Leonardo da Vinci assists in the preparations for the tournament held in honour of Ludovico Sforza's marriage to Beatrice d'Este. For this he devised an invasion by a company of dancing and singing Scythians or Tartars, costumed as savages and led by a rider mounted on a big horse and wearing a cloak covered with golden scales and painted with peacock's eyes. ('Leonardo da Vinci', p. 61)

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Astronomical Events

1491

Lionardo di Buonarrota, Michelangelo's older brother, becomes a devoted follower of Girolamo Savonarola and enters the Domenican Order, effectively leaving Michelangelo as eldest son of the family.

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Astronomical Events

1492

1 year later

At about this time in Milan, Leonardo was beginning to collect observations on painting and on a variety of scientific and literary subjects, with a view to gathering them in the form of treatises.

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Astronomical Events

1492

Leonardo da Vinci completes the clay model of The Horse.

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Astronomical Events

1492

January

Leonardo da Vinci directs the tournament of Galeazzo Sanseverino.

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Astronomical Events

1492

April 8

on Friday

3 months, 8 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici died on his estate at Careggi; and it was said that when he heard the news of the effects of the thunderbolt, being so ill, he asked where it had fallen, and on which side; and when he was told, he said: "Alas! I shall die, because it fell towards my house." This may not have been so, but it was commonly reported.

And they brought him to Florence the same night, at 5 in the morning (1 a.m.), and put him in the monastery at San Marco; and he remained there the whole of the next day, which was a Monday. And on the 10th April, Tuesday, he was buried at San Lorenzo at about 20 in the evening (4.pm.). Well may we consider what a transitory thing is human life! This man, in the eyes of the world, was the most illustrious, the richest, the most stately, and the most renowned among men. Everyone declared that he ruled Italy; and in very truth he was possessed of great wisdom, and all his undertakings prospered. He had succeeded in doing what no citizen had been able to do for a long time: namely, in getting his son appointed cardinal; which was not only an honour for his house, but for the whole city. In spite of all this, however, he could not live one hour longer when the end came. Then, O man, man, what hast thou to be proud of? True humility is the fit human attribute, and each time that we grow proud, and esteem ourselves above others, failing to recognise that every spiritual, corporal and temporal good comes from God, we exceed the proper limits of humanity. Everything that exceeds its limit is evil, and those things which should be good, turn to ill. The desirable quality for man is true gentleness and humility, and always to esteem God. Man is naught, if not what God has made him; to whom be praise from all creatures, as is His due. May He pardon me my sins! And may He pardon the sins of the dead man, as I trust He may pardon me and all human beings!

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Careggi was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1494

1 year, 8 months, 28 days later

The 66 tons of bronze which has been set aside to cast Leonardo's equestrian statue is sent instead to Ferrara to make cannons for the war against France.

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Astronomical Events

1494

Michelangelo working in Bologna.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

1494

The clay cast for Leonardo's equestrian statue, known as Il Colosso, is displayed at the wedding of Bianca Maria Sforza to great acclaim.

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Astronomical Events

1494

Study

Baldassare Castiglione begins his humanist studies in Milan, studies which would eventually inform his future writings.

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Agents

1494

January 20

on Saturday

19 days later

There is a heavy fall of snow in Florence, and Pietro de' Medici sends for the young Michelangelo to model a colossal snow-man in the courtyard of his palace.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1494

August 1

on Wednesday

6 months, 13 days later

Giovanni Santi dies.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1494

September

1 month, 1 day later

Leonardo da Vinci drops plans for the Sforza monument until it can be cast and begins reclamation work in the Sforza lands near Vigevano, freeing one vast tract of water and converting another to a grazing area.

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Astronomical Events

1494

November 9

on Friday

2 months, 9 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

About 20 in the afternoon (4 p.m.), when it was ringing for vespers,(1) Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici wished to go to the Signoria in the Palagio, taking his armed men with him. The Signori not allowing this, he did not choose to go alone, and turned back.(1) Now men began to collect in the Piazza, and in the Palagio were heard cries of Popolo e Liberta! (The People and Liberty!), whilst the bell was rung for a parlamento, and men appeared at the windows with the same cry. Immediately the Gonfaloniere del Bue(2) came into the Piazza, and behind him Francesco Valori and other citizens on horseback, all crying Popolo e Liberta! These were the first to arrive; but before an hour had passed, the Piazza was filled with all the Gonfaloni and all the citizens, troops of armed men crying loudly, Popolo e Liberta! Although the people did not very well understand what all this tumult was about, nevertheless not many citizens went to Piero de' Medici's house. The Tornabuoni and some other citizens went there armed, with many men under their command, and coming into the street before his door, cried, Palle! Piero then mounted his horse, to come into the Piazza with his men, starting several times, and then stopping again. I think that he perceived how few citizens were with him, and also he must have been told that the Piazza was full of armed men. Meanwhile the cardinal, his brother, left his house, accompanied by many soldiers and by those citizens who were there, and came down the Corso as far as Orto San Michele, crying Popolo e Liberta like the rest; declaring that he separated himself from Piero. The only consequence was that the Piazza turned against him, menacing him with the points of their weapons shouting at him as a traitor, and not choosing to accept him. He turned back, not without danger. And now a proclamation was issued, at the Canto della Macina(3) and in the Via de' Martegli(4) next to the Chiassolino (little alley) ordering every foreigner to lay down his arms, and forbidding anyone on pain of death to aid or abet Piero de' Medici. In consequence of this, many abandoned Piero and laid down their arms. They dropped off on all sides, so that few remained with him. Therefore Piero left this house and went towards the Porta a San Gallo, which he had caused to be kept open for him by his brother Giuliano with many soldiers and by friends outside. Signor Pagolo Orsini was waiting outside with horses and armed men in readiness to enter, but it did not seem the right moment, and when Piero arrived they decided it would be best to go away, taking Giuliano with them. The poor young cardinal remained in his house, and I saw him at a window kneeling with joined hands, praying Heaven to have mercy. I was much touched when I saw him, considering him to be a good lad and of upright character. It was said that when he had seen Piero ride away, he disguised himself as a monk and took his departure also. Another proclamation was published in the Piazza, announcing that whoever slew Piero de' Medici should have 2 thousand ducats and whoever slew the cardinal should have a thousand. And after this many soldiers left the Piazza with Jacopo de' Nerli, and going to the house of Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo,(5) pillaged it. And then the crowd rose, with the cry of Antonio di Bernardo,(5) and pillaged his house also, and pillaged the Bargello. The number of soldiers and of the people going about robbing increased every moment; and this all happened before 24 in the evening (8 p.m.), less than four hours from when the disturbance began. Then the Signoria published a proclamation forbidding any more houses to be pillaged, on pain of death; and the Gonfaloni went about the city all night to guard it, crying Popolo e Liberta, carrying lighted torches, so that no more harm was done, except that a certain serving-man of the Bargello who cried Palle, was killed in the Piazza. And now Girolamo son of Marabotto Tornabuoni, and Pierantonio Carnesecchi, and others of that party, turned and cried Popolo e Liberta like the rest. When they were about to enter the Piazza, however, weapons were pointed against them, and they were only saved by their cuirasses, and had to escape as best they might. In fact, Girolamo Tornabuoni had his cuirass torn off in Orto San Michele, but when he begged for mercy, his life was spared. And Giovan Francesco Tornabuoni was severely wounded in the throat, and returned home. When the disturbance began, some of the French who were quartered in Florence armed themselves and joined Piero's party, crying Francia. I believe it was pointed out to them that the matter was between citizens only, and that if they were to do anything against the Palagio, they would put themselves in the wrong; therefore they acted accordingly, returning to their lodgings and then going about the city unarmed.(6)

(1) In the book already quoted of the Deliberazioni dei Signori e Collegi, the second entry of this date is the order that Piero must appear within an hour of the notification.

(2) The "Banner of the Bull" was that of the Borgias.

(3) The Canto della Macina is where Via Ginori meets Via Guelfa. (Trans.)

(4) The Via de' Martegli is the Via Martelli, between the Piazza del Duomo and Via Cavour. (Trans.)

(5) See note to 10th November.

(6) The confusion of this day must have been great, and something of it appears even in our Luca when he was writing about the various events which happened hour after hour, as he notes some which do not seem to belong to the same date. For instance, with regard to the prices placed upon the heads of the Medici, I find some contradiction in the documents, because the Signoria, on the 20th, in two distinct councils, first banished Piero and declared him a rebel, and afterwards offered 2000 florins reward to anyone who delivered him alive into their hands, 1000 to anyone who captured Ser Piero son of Francesco da Bibbiena, his chancellor, and 500 for the capture of Bernardo brother of Ser Piero, another chancellor. He also forgets the order given to liberate the prisoners of the Stinche, and the appointment of Francesco Pep and Braccio Martelli as ambassadors to the King of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 60-3

1494

November 21

on Wednesday

12 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The city was in great dread of being pillaged, and it was considered a bad sign that the king did not wish to sign the agreement. The French seemed to be becoming more and more masters of the place; they did not allow the citizens to go about armed, day or night, but took away their weapons, and kept striking and stabbing them. No one ventured to speak or to go out after the Ave Maria (at 5 o'clock); and the French went about robbing in the night, their guards parading the city. Everyone was so discouraged and intimidated, that when they saw anyone carrying stones or gravel they went crazy and struck out.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:50 PM.

1494

November 24

on Saturday

3 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

There was much whispering amongst the people, who said suspiciously: "This king doesn't know what he wishes; he has not yet signed the agreement." And many declared that some of his counsellors were endeavouring to hinder it, as there was a certain Signore di Bre,(1) lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, who said that he had promised some people to get Piero reinstated, and to persuade the king to ask for this, but perhaps it was not true. This was, as I say, the opinion of many of the citizens, and therefore they were in great dread; still more so when it was said that the king was going this morning to dine in the Palagio with the Signori and that he had caused all the armed men to be removed from the Palagio, and he was going there with many armed men, so that everyone suspected him of evil designs. There was no one who did not take pains this morning to fill his house with bread and with weapons and with stones, and to strengthen his house as much as possible, everyone being of the mind and intention to die fighting, and to slay anyone if needful, in the manner of the Sicilian Vespers. And fear was so widespread(2) that when at the dinner hour people began to say Serra, serra! (Shut everything!), it came about that the whole of Florence locked itself in, one fleeing here and another there, without any fresh cause or disturbance, the consequence being that many of the French rushed to the Porta a San Friano and took possession of the Ponte alia Carraia. And in Borgo Ognissanti and in Via Palazzuolo, and in Borgo San Friano, so many stones were thrown from the windows that they were not able to get to the gates; and when they asked the reason of it, no one knew. Therefore the king did not go to dine in the Palagio; and, by divine permission, the French became so uneasy that it caused them to change their evil intentions towards us who only had good ones. Anyone can see that God does not abandon Florence, but we are not sufficiently grateful. At this time we heard that the French troops which had been in Romagna were passing by in the neighbourhood of Dicomano.

(1) Some Florentines historians call him di Bles, and it was Philippe de Bresse, afterwards Duke of Savoy.

(2) The greatest confusion seems to have been caused by the Swiss, who were quartered near the Porta al Prato inside and out, and who tried to force their way through Borgo Ognissanti, in order to approach the king's quarters.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

November 25

on Sunday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

There was nothing new except that the French were so alarmed that they stood on guard night and day. They took the citizens' arms from them, and robbed anyone whom they encountered at night; so that some of those bold Florentines who had had the idea of slaying the French when they met them at night, were themselves slain or wounded. If the French had stayed longer they (these rash Florentines) would have gone the right way to work to bring about trouble. It is always the case that certain thoughtless men endanger cities, not considering what it means to kindle the spark; it may happen that a man of no account arouses the anger of a king by some piece of folly, without the city being to blame.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 71

1494

November 26

on Monday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king went together with the Signoria to hear mass at Santa Maria del Fiore and here he swore to observe the articles which had been drawn up, and which were as follows: that we should lend him 120 thousand florins, giving him 50 thousand florins now, and the rest before the end of July 1495; and that he should leave and give back to us the forts of Pisa and all the others; and leave our territory free and unmolested; and that Piero de' Medici should be confined to boundaries 100 miles away from Florence; and that the price of 2000 florins placed upon his head should be taken off, and also off his brothers'. All this he swore to observe, on the altar of Santa Maria del Fiore, before Christ Jesus, on the word of a king.(1)

(1) These articles had been signed the preceding day in the palace of the Medici, where the king was quartered. The Marquis Gino Capponi published them in the Archivio Storico Italiano, I Serie, vol. I., pp. 348-75. There are twenty-seven articles, and the last twelve regard entirely the persons and interests of the Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

November 27

on Tuesday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king went out to see certain tents which had been set up on the Prato d'Ognissanti, and which had been presented to him by the Duke of Ferrara; there being one for the king himself that was really magnificent, with a sitting-room, a bedroom, and a chapel, and many other things besides. He was to have left this morning, but did not do so; the joy-bells were rung and bonfires were made. This morning more of the troops from Romagna reached Dicomano, and were quartered there, about 20 horses being put into my place even. I left my young son Benedetto there, and they nearly slew him several times, although he paid them proper respect, as I had impressed upon him. It was at a great cost to us. They were quartered everywhere, in the Val di Sieve, as far as the Ponte a Sieve and the Sieci, and then they went on along the upper valley of the Arno.(1)

(1) The king having proclaimed that all those who were with him should pay, on leaving, for everything that they had had, the Signoria, with a proclamation on this date, ordered the Florentines to be lenient in their demands, and requested anybody who thought himself overcharged to have recourse to them, threatening to cut off the hand of anyone who should offend the French. The following day they imposed the punishment of six blows of the lash upon anyone who should molest or strike the French.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.