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Painter

1400

Jacopo Bellini is born in Venice.

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1401

December 21

on Monday

1 year, 11 months, 24 days later

Masaccio is born in San Giovanni Valdarno.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in San Giovanni Valdarno was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428): painter

1411

9 years, 13 days later

Jacopo Bellini is in Foligno, where with Gentile da Fabriano he worked at the The Palazzo Trinci frescoes.

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1422

11 years, 3 days later

Masaccio paints the San Giovenale Triptych.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 21: painter

1422

January 7

on Monday

6 days later

Masaccio joins the painters guild of Florence, signing as "Masus S. Johannis Simonis pictor populi S. Nicholae de Florentia."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 21: painter

1423

11 months, 29 days later

Masaccio travels to Rome with Masolino.

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Agents

Masolino (1383-1447), aged 40: painter
Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 22: painter

1424

1 year later

Masaccio and Masolino are commissioned by the powerful and rich Felice Brancacci to execute a cycle of frescoes for the The Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 23: painter
Masolino (1383-1447), aged 41: painter

1424

Masaccio paints the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne with Masolino.

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Agents

Masolino (1383-1447), aged 41: painter
Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 23: painter

1425

1 year, 1 day later

Masaccio and Masolino begin painting the The Brancacci Chapel.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 24: painter

1425

September

8 months, 3 days later

Masolino leaves work on the The Brancacci Chapel and goes to Hungary.

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Agents

Masolino (1383-1447), aged 42: painter

1426

4 months, 2 days later

Masaccio leaves the The Brancacci Chapel frescoes unfinished in order to respond to other commissions.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 25: painter

1426

February 19

on Sunday

1 month, 19 days later

Masaccio is commissioned by Giuliano di Colino degli Scarsi da San Giusto, for the sum of 80 florins, to paint a major altarpiece, the Pisa Altarpiece, for his chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa.

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The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.

1427

10 months, 16 days later

Masaccio returns to work again in the Carmine, beginning the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 26: painter

1428

Autumn

1 year, 2 months later

Masaccio dies in Rome; according to a legend, he is poisoned by a jealous rival painter.

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Agents

Masaccio (1401-1428), aged 27: painter

1430

1 year, 10 months, 6 days later

Giovanni Bellini born in Venice.

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Agents

Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516): painter

1431

1 year later

Andrea Mantegna is born in Isola di Carturo.

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1435

4 years, 1 day later

Birth

Andrea del Verrocchio is born in Florence.

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Agents

1450s

15 years, 4 days later

A tragic beginning

As a result of a tragic stone-throwing game with his Florentine compatriots, Andrea del Verrocchio kills Antonio di Domenico, a woodworker aged 14. He is imprisoned and tried for involuntary manslaughter, but released soon afterward, the judges being used to stone-throwing cases, not unusual in in Florence. Verrocchio is guilt-stricken for the rest of his life, and it’s thought the accidental death was the reason he didn’t put a stone in the hand of his celebrated David.

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1452

2 years later

Davide Ghirlandaio is born in Florence.

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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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The moon was waning crescent that night.

1453

8 months, 21 days later

Apprenticeship

Andrea del Verrocchio studies with goldsmith Andrea Dei in Florence.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 18: painter; sculptor

1457

4 years, 1 day later

A change of name

Andrea del Verrocchio becomes affiliated with Francesco di Luca Verrocchio, taking on his patronymic.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 22: painter; sculptor

1458

1 year later

Benedetto Ghirlandaio is born in Florence.

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1460

2 years later

Bastiano Mainardi was born in San Gimignano.

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1465

5 years, 2 days later

Monument to Cosimo

Andrea del Verrocchio executes the funerary monument to Cosimo de' Medici for the crypt under the altar of San Lorenzo.

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1465

Lavabo

Andrea del Verrocchio works on the lavabo of the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo, Florence.

Attachments
The lavabo (washbasin) of Andrea del Verrocchio

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1467

2 years later

Christ and St. Thomas

The Tribunale della Mercanzia, the judicial organ of the Guilds in Florence, commissions from Andrea del Verrocchio a bronze group portraying Christ and St. Thomas for the centre tabernacle.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 32: painter; sculptor

1467

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'

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1468

1 year later

The bronze candlestick

Andrea del Verrocchio makes a bronze candlestick (1.57 metres high) for Signoria of Florence.

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1468

The Palla

Andrea del Verrocchio is contracted to make a golden ball (palla) to be placed on top of the lantern of Brunelleschi's cupola on the Duomo in Florence.

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1470

2 years, 1 day later

Jacopo Bellini dies in Venice.

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1470

Giovanni Bellini receives his first appointment to work along with his brother and other artists in the Scuola di San Marco, where among other subjects he is commissioned to paint a Deluge with Noah's Ark.

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Agents

Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516), aged 40: painter

1470

Journey to Rome

Andrea del Verrocchio makes a voyage to Rome in the early 1470s.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 35: painter; sculptor

1470

Botticelli opens his own workshop.

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Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 25: painter; man; goldsmith

1471

February

1 year, 1 month, 1 day later

Andrea del Verrocchio completes Palla of the Duomo of Florence.

Attachments
The Palla of the Duomo of Florence

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 36: painter; sculptor

1472

11 months, 4 days later

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

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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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The moon was waning crescent that night.

1473

6 months, 4 days later

Antonello da Messina introduces the new medium of oil paint into Venice.

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1473

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

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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 Forteguerri Monument

Andrea del Verrocchio executes The Forteguerri Monument for the Cathedral of Pistoia, which he leaves unfinished.

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1474

The Baptism of Christ

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

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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.

1476

10 months, 1 day 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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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

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1476

David is sold

Signoria of Florence purchases the David by Andrea del Verrocchio from the Medici family.

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1478

2 years, 1 day later

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

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1478

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

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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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1478

July 5

on Friday

6 months, 5 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.

1480

1 year, 6 months later

Giocomo Salai is born in Milan.

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Agents

Giocomo Salai (1480-1524): painter

1480

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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1480

October 27

on Wednesday

10 months 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.

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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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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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1482

10 months, 6 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

Workshop in Venice

Andrea del Verrocchio opens a workshop in Venice to work on the statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, leaving his pupil Lorenzo di Credi in charge of his workshop in Florence.

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1483

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

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1483

March 28

on Wednesday

2 months, 26 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 21

on Thursday

1 month, 27 days later

In a tabernacle in Orto Sa' Michele there was placed the figure of San Tommaso beside Jesus, and the Jesus in bronze, which is the most beautiful thing imaginable, and the finest head of the Saviour that has as yet been made; it is by Andrea del Verrocchio.

At this time the Duke of Calabria and Signor Roberto left Ferrara and went into Lombardy, where much damage was being down on all sides, and Signor Gostanzo was poisoned there.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1483

December 3

on Monday

5 months, 15 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.

1485

1 year, 1 month later

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

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1488

2 years later

Death

Andrea del Verrocchio dies in Venice.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 53: painter; sculptor

1488

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

Titian is born in Pieve di Cadore.

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Agents

Titian (1488-1576): 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

Late

1 month, 16 days later

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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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

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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1489

June 15

on Saturday

5 months, 15 days later

A letter from Andrea Mantegna to Francesco Gonzaga:

I commend myself cordially. The fame and glory of the most illustrious House of Gonzaga are filling all Italy, and especially this city of Rome, with the rumour of the honours shown to and by Your Excellency, wherein I delight and take pride how all here are perpetually crying aloud: Gonzaga, Gonzaga. The Turk, the Turk! Marco, Marco! It is my hope, indeed my assurance, that Your Excellency will not prove unworthy of the many most learned Lords of that most illustrious House. And may God grant me to live until I see that which my heart longs for. I am now well pleased, and meseems this is worthy beginning to what I trust will have good continuance and an excellent conclusion. With such feeble powers as I have, I seek here, being your Excellency's servant, to do you honour with all my poor skill. And for love of Your Excellency I am well regarded by His Holiness the Pope and by all the Palace. True it is that I am given only the return of what I lay out, having never received even the slenderest reward; but I would fain ask nothing, being minded only to serve Your Lordship. Therefore I beg that you will not forget your Andrea Mantegna, that he may not lose his wages that he has received these many years from your most illustrious House, for matters cannot go well if I have nothing either here nor there. Therefore, my most illustrious Lord, I urgently commend this matter to you. Of my conduct here and my zeal, Your Excellency is, I believe, informed. It is a great undertaking for one man alone who desires the highest honour in Rome, where be so many learned and worthy men. But as with them that ride a race, the first wins the prize, so I must have it in the end, if it please God. Meanwhile I commend myself to Your Excellency.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1489

July 21

on Sunday

1 month, 6 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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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

December 22

on Monday

6 months, 10 days later

The chapel, that is, the Capella Maggiore, of Santa Maria Novella was opened. Domenico del Grillandaio had painted it, at the order of Giovanni Tornabuoni. And the choir of carved wood was also made round the chapel. The painting alone cost 1000 gold florins.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1491

10 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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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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1491

Botticelli serves on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence.

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Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 46: painter; man; goldsmith

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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1492

Leonardo da Vinci completes the clay model of The Horse.

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1492

January

Leonardo da Vinci directs the tournament of Galeazzo Sanseverino.

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1494

2 years, 1 day 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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1494

Michelangelo working in Bologna.

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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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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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1494

November 28

on Wednesday

2 months, 28 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king left Florence after having dined, and went for the night to the Certosa, and all his men went before or after him, so that few remained here. It was said that Fra Girolamo of Ferrara, our famous preacher, had gone to the king and declared that he was not doing the will of God in stopping, and that he ought to leave. It was even said that he went a second time, when he saw that the king did not leave, and declared again that he was not following God's will, and that whatever evil should befall others would return on his head. It was thought that this was the cause of his leaving more speedily, because at that time the said Fra Girolamo was held to be a prophet and a man of holy life, both in Florence and throughout Italy. At the same time there came to Florence the captain of the French troops in Romagna, whose name was Begni,(1) and he told the king rather dictatorially that he ought to leave on every account, as the weather was favourable, and he declared that it would be ill to delay the advance. And in fact the king did leave, for he put more faith in this seigneur than in all the rest, and deservedly, as he was an extremely intelligent and worthy man, according to what was said; and this was in reality the strongest reason which induced him to leave.(2)

(1) Robert Stuart, Comte de Beaumont le Roger, Seigneur of Aubigny-sur-Nerre.

(2) On this day the Signori designed Guglielmo d'Antonio Pazzi, Braccio di Domenico Martelli, Niccolo Antinori, and Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici to go the following morning and accompany the king as far as Siena. Afterwards they substituted Francesco de' Rossi for the Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1495

1 month, 4 days later

Timoteo Viti becomes court painter in Urbino.

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1495

Leonardo da Vinci's mother Caterina is believed to die in Milan in this year.

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1495

Leonardo da Vinci begins work on The Last Supper in the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

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1497

June 29

on Tuesday

2 years, 6 months later

From a sheet of instructions that Lodovico Sforza gave to his secretary:

Item, to urge Leonardo the Florentine to finish the work that he has begun at the refectory of the Grazie, so that he may start with the other wall in the same refectory; and have him sign a contract obliging him to finish the work within the stipulated time.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1497

July 17

on Saturday

18 days later

Benedetto Ghirlandaio dies in Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1498

February 9

on Wednesday

6 months, 27 days later

Leonardo da Vinci completes The Last Supper.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1498

August 7

on Sunday

5 months, 29 days later

The contract between Michelangelo and the Cardinal di San Dionisio for the Pieta.(1)

Die VII mensis augusti, 1498.

Be it known and manifest to all who shall read this present writing that the Most Reverend Cardinal di San Dionisio has agreed with Maestro Michelangelo, statuary of Florence, that the said Maestro shall at his own proper costs make a Pieta of marble ; that is to say, a draped figure of the Virgin Mary with the dead Christ in her arms, the figures being life-size, for the sum of four hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold (in oro papali), to be finished within the term of one year from the beginning of the work. And the said Most Reverend Cardinal promises to pay the money in the manner following: that is to say, imprimis he promises to pay the sum of one hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold before ever the work shall be begun, and thereafter while the work is in progress he promises to pay to the aforesaid Michelangelo one hundred ducats of the same value every four months, in such wise that the whole of the said sum of four hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold shall be paid within a twelvemonth, provided that the work shall be finished within that period: and if it shall be finished before the stipulated term his Most Reverend Lordship shall be called upon to pay the whole of the sum outstanding.

And I, Iacopo Gallo, do promise the Most Reverend Monsignore, that the said Michelangelo will complete the said work within one year, and that it shall be more beautiful than any work in marble to be seen in Rome to-day, and such that no master of our own time shall be able to produce a better. And I do promise the aforesaid Michelangelo on the other hand, that the Most Reverend Cardinal will observe the conditions of payment as herein set forth in writing. And in token of good faith I, lacopo Gallo, have drawn up the present agreement with my own hand the year month and day aforesaid. Furthermore be it understood that all previous agreements between the parties drawn up by my hand, or rather, by the hand of the aforesaid Michelangelo are by this present declared null and void, and only this present agreement shall have effect.

The said Most Reverend Cardinal gave to me, Iacopo Gallo, one hundred gold ducats of the chamber in gold (ducati d'oro in oro di Camera) some time ago, and on the aforesaid day as above set forth I received from him a further sum of fifty gold ducats in Papal gold.

Ita est IOANNES, CARDINALIS S. DYONISII. Idem Iacobus Gallus, manu proprio.

(1) This Madonna della Pieta was carved for Jean de la Groslaye, Cardinal di San Dionigi, and seems to have been contemplated, though not actually begun, some months before the drawing up of the final contract under which the work was executed.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

Source: Primary

Buonarroti, Michelangelo, trans. Robert W. Carden. "Michelangelo. A Record of His Life", Constable & Company Ltd, 1913: p. 10-12

1499

4 months, 27 days later

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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Agents

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

1500s

1 year later

The troubled history of Michelangelo and the Tomb of Pope Julius II

The complicated and unsatisfactory story of Michelangelo's work on the Tomb of Pope Julius II spans much of his professional life.

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Agents

1500s

Raphael and Evangelista da Pian di Meleto are commissioned to paint The Baronci Altarpiece for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 17: painter; architect; poet
Evangelista da Pian di Meleto (1460-1549), aged 40: painter

1500s

Giorgione meets Leonardo da Vinci in Venice.

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1500s

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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1500s

Raphael comes into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello in Urbino.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 17: painter; architect; poet

1500s

Leonardo da Vinci returns to Florence, where he and his household are guests of the Servite monks at the monastery of Santissima Annunziata and are provided with a workshop.

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1501

1 year later

Raphael is accorded a fully trained master.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 18: painter; architect; poet

1501

Raphael and Evangelista da Pian di Meleto finish The Baronci Altarpiece.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 18: painter; architect; poet
Evangelista da Pian di Meleto (1460-1549), aged 41: painter

1501

May 12

on Sunday

4 months, 11 days later

Extract from a letter from Francesco Malatesta to Isabella d'Este mentioning Leonardo's viewing and valuation of some antique vases formerly owned by the Medici:

I showed them to Leonardo Vinci the painter. He praised all of them but especially the crystal one, because it is all of one piece and very clear.... and Leonardo said that he had never seen a better piece.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Source: Primary

Charles Nicholl; Nicholl, Charles. "Leonardo da Vinci. Flights of the Mind." E-book, p. 591.

1501

August 16

on Friday

3 months, 6 days later

p12 1501, die XVJ augusti,

Spectabiles . . . virim, the Consuls of the Arte della Lana and the Lords Overseers (of the Cathedral) being met together in joint assembly within the hall of the said Overseers, have chosen as sculptor to the said Cathedral the worthy master, Michelangelo, the son of Lodovico Buonarroti, a citizen of Florence, to the end that he may make, finish and bring to perfection the male figure known as the Giant, nine braccia in height, already blocked out in marble by Maestro Agostino grande of Florence, and badly blocked ; and now stored in the workshops of the Cathedral.

p13 The work shall be completed within the period and term of two years next ensuing, beginning from the first day of September next ensuing, with a salary and payment of six broad florins of gold in gold for every month. And for all other works that shall be required about the said building (edificum) the said Overseers bind themselves to supply and provide both men and scaffolding from their Office and all else that may be necessary. When the said work and the said male figure of marble shall be finished, then the Consuls and Overseers who shall at that time be in authority shall judge whether it merits a higher reward, being guided therein by the dictates of their own consciences.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1501

November 9

on Saturday

2 months, 25 days later

Leonardo da Vinci draws out 50 florins from his savings at Santa Maria Nuovo.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

Source: Primary

Charles Nicholl; Nicholl, Charles. "Leonardo da Vinci. Flights of the Mind." E-book, p. 591.

1502

1 month, 23 days later

Raphael paints the The Oddi Altarpiece for the altar of the Oddi family chapel in the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 19: painter; architect; poet

1502

Raphael paints The Mond Crucifixion for a church in Urbino.

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Agents

Raphael (1483-1520), aged 19: painter; architect; poet

1502

Raphael goes to Siena at the invitation of another pupil of Perugino, Pinturicchio, "being a friend of Raphael and knowing him to be a draughtsman of the highest quality" to help with the cartoons, and very likely the designs, for a fresco series in the Piccolomini Library of the Duomo in Siena in Siena Cathedral.

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Agents

Pinturicchio (1454-1513), aged 48: painter
Raphael (1483-1520), aged 19: painter; architect; poet

1502

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.

1502

In Cesena, Leonardo da Vinci begins work as senior military architect and general engineer for Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci creates a map of Cesare Borgia's stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci gifts to his pupil Salai a precious garment given to him by Cesare Borgia.

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Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke
Giocomo Salai (1480-1524), aged 22: painter

Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style", p.142.

1502

June 30

on Monday

6 months later

The Marchioness of Mantua writes a letter to the Cardinal of Este, saying that she should very much like to place Michelangelo's statue of Cupid, together with an antique statue of Venus, in her own collection.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1502

July 30

on Wednesday

1 month later

Itinerary jotted down in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook:

30 July - "the dove-cote at Urbino".

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Urbino was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1502

August 1

on Friday

2 days later

Itinerary jotted down in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook:

1 August -"In the library at Pesaro".

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pesaro and Urbino was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1502

August 8

on Friday

7 days later

Itinerary jotted down in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook:

8 August - "make harmonies out of the different falls of water as you saw in the fountain at Rimini on the 8th day of August".

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Astronomical Events

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

1502

August 10

on Sunday

2 days later

Itinerary jotted down in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook:

"At the Feast of San Lorenzo at Cesena."

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Astronomical Events

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

1502

August 15

on Friday

5 days later

Itinerary jotted down in Leonardo da Vinci's notebook:

15 August - "On St Mary's day in the middle of August at Cesena."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Cesena was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1502

August 18

on Monday

3 days later

Passport drawn up in Pavia granting Leonardo da Vinci free access to the dominions of Cesare Borgia as his chief military architect:

Cesare Borgia of France, by the grace of God Duke of Romagna and Valence, Prince of the Adriatic, Lord of Piombino etc., also Gonfalonier and Captain General of the Holy Roman Church: to all our lieutenants, castellans, captains, condottieri, officials, soldiers and subjects to whom this notice is presented. We order and command that the bearer thereof, our most excellent and well-beloved architect and general engineer Leonardo Vinci, who by our commission is to survey the places and fortresses of our states, should be provided with all such assistance as the occasion demands and his judgement deems fit.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Pavia was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1502

November 16

on Sunday

3 months later

Jacques Mesnil discovers a summary of a charge in the Florentine Archives for November 16, 1502, which reads simply "Botticelli keeps a boy", under an accusation of sodomy.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 57: painter; man; goldsmith

1503

1 month, 16 days later

Michelangelo is commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Cascina, in the council hall of the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Agents

1503

Leonardo da Vinci begins painting the Mona Lisa and works on it on and off for the next thirteen years. Walter Pater gives an immortal description in a passage from The Renaissance.

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1503

Leonardo da Vinci returns to Florence where he is commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Anghiari, in the council hall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.

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1503

July 3

on Friday

6 months, 3 days later

Extract a cover letter from Leonardo da Vinci to Sultan Bejazet (or Beyazid) II offering his services. This is dated by Charles Nicholl to July 3, 1503.

I, your servant, have heard about your intention to build a bridge from Stanboul to Galata, and that you have not done it because no man can be found capable of it. I, your servant, know how. I would raise it to the height of a building, so that no one can pass over it because it is so high ... I will make it so that a ship can pass under it even with its sails hoisted.... I would have a drawbridge so that when one wants one can pass on to the Anatolian coast.... May God make you believe these words, and consider this servant of yours always at your service.

Attachments
Realisation of a bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Constantinople was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1503

October 18

on Sunday

3 months, 17 days later

Leonardo da Vinci rejoins the Guild of Saint Luke.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1503

October 24

on Saturday

6 days later

Leonardo da Vinci is assigned the Sala del Papa in S. Maria Novella to begin work on the cartoon for the Battle of Anghiari.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.