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Camunian inspirations for Leonardo da Vinci

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Did the Camonica Valley and Iseo Lake inspire Leonardo Da Vinci? In his most famous backdrops, as the Mona Lisa portrait, and more in the oil painting "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" (Milan, 1510 - 1513), conserved at the Louvre Museum in Paris, you can notice an alpine landscape very similar to the Valley of Landmarks.

A drawing that features a simple map of the Camonica Valley and Lake Sebinus is located at Windsor Castle, in the Royal Collection, part of a group of 600 handwritten documents about anathomy, horses, maps and spo

ofs, created to 1478 between 1518. The "Sketch-maps of the course of the river Oglio, south of the Lago d'Iseo" has been dated to 1510; then bequeathed to Francesco Melzi, a pupil of Leonardo; from whose heirs purchased by Pompeo Leoni; subsequently acquired by Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, in 1630; at last probably obtained by the King Charles II, is in the Royal Collection by 1690. The recto depicts two rough maps of the course of the river Oglio and south of Lago d'Iseo, from Pontoglio to Sarnico, marking the towns and villages on the bank in phonetic transcription of Brescian dialect. The verso has another slight sketch of the same.


Therefore Leonardo Da Vinci was familiar to the Camonica Valley: in the Mona Lisa background you can glimpse a likely realistic representation of the Calepio ancient bridge and in "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" we can distinctly see the Badile Peak and the Castle of Breno, like so they were at the end of the XVth century. A noteworthy copy of the Windsor sketch is now shown at the CaMus - Museo Camuno in Breno, where you can admire a collection of paintings, sculptures, italian furnitures from the Middle Ages to the 1800s.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (Milan, 1510 - 1513)

Louvre Museum, Paris

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