Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vinci ~ {da Leonardo}

While Jim and Gloria returned to Chiarvari on New Year's Eve day to find the distant relatives of her father, Laura, Robert, the boys and I went to Vinci, Italy. This is a tiny town in Tuscany, not far from Florence where Leonardo da Vinci was born and raised. Leonardo was born in 1452 and the original 3-room home where he was born is still standing although it was restored in 1986. The grounds surrounding it remain virtually the same, as he was born on the top of a mountain, a little climb outside the tiny town. The house contains the drawing of the landscapes he designed around the town. Was there no end to his talents, interests and abilities?

The town itself is very quaint and the museum and castle there are the main attractions in this sleepy little place. We had a break in the rain just long enough to view the hills of Tuscany bathed in sunlight. It was one of the prettiest places I have ever been and so peaceful. Jim had the camera so I have scanned some postcards that Laura bought in the castle for me, of the area for you to see.Leonardo was raised by his father who was a 25-year-old notary at the time of his son's birth. His mother, Catherina, was a peasant girl who married another man shortly after Leonardo's birth. He had 17 half brothers and sisters. In spite of his father's profession as a notary, he did have a wonderful collection of books and they were the inspiration and laid the foundation of the work that Leonardo was able to accomplish in his lifetime. Most of us think of his paintings and sculptures as his claim to fame but he was known and respected for his expertise in countless fields of study as well.

In the town of Vinci there are very few of his major works of art but the museum is dedicated to his inventions and the designs of his military weapons and implements of war and his extensive drawing collections and other writings. A new museum with the intent of housing some of his art is under construction in Vinci now. His entire life was "art " but I am speaking of it in the traditional sense...paintings and sculptures. Although he studied and worked in Italy a good part of his life, his final commissions were for the King of France and he is said to have died in the arms of that King.

The King wanted him to do a large sculpture of the King's father on a horse that was to be four times life size and weighing several tons. He was never to complete that work as he suffered from paralysis of his right hand in his later years. Since that time the statute has been completed on a smaller scale by a young woman that studied his drawings. It now sits proudly in the little Piazza of Vinci, Italy to honor this most amazing Renaissance man in history of the world.

The horse, sans the King's Father!

We all enjoyed this visit to Vinci, but I think both Robert and Spencer really got into it with Robert's military interests, his engineering capabilities and his brilliant mind and Spencer's insatiable desire to be an inventor. It was perfect for them. For me it was perfect in a different way. While they all visited the castle I chose to sit in the minuscule piazza of the museum castle complex and enjoy the quiet, the sun and the people that actually live on the top of the hill right there next to the museum. Taking it all in, I was able to find some inspiration for the bathroom we are currently working on and to enjoy a moment or two of solitude and pondering. It was a gorgeous and memorable day and just when we were about done with our started to sprinkle and then rained like crazy.

The timing was pretty good and we loved seeing Vinci under the Tuscan sun and where Vinci, Italy became~Vinci da Leonardo because of one native son, Leonardo da Vinci. (I made that part up but it fits, don't you think?)

P.S. I found it ironic that not only did Beethoven lose his hearing but Leonardo lost the use of his hand. How sad is that? Very!

See this web link for an interesting current article about Leonardo da Vinci:


Shaun at Oak Den said...

It is all so lovely! I love reading your story and seeing the pictures, even if they are postcards. What a great observation about Beethoven and da Vinci. Kind of ironic.

Shaun at Oak Den said...

Bonnie, I just read the comment you left on my post. I'm honored that you took the time to read about my oh-so-interesting-life-but-not-really-compared-to-what-you-are-doing!!

Guess what? We are taking our family to France in March! I'm so excited! We get points with our credit card and "point inflation" will cause everything to cost more points after March, so we're going to use them at the current rate and get airplane tickets. Doug went with our two oldest boys 4 years ago, but the other three haven't been so this is going to be a really wonderful family trip!

You are really enticing me to Italy! Maybe when I get tired of France...? Have fun-fun-fun!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
Beautiful pics and a fun post to read, Looks like a lovely place to visit. I would enjoy just sitting and drinking it in as well.
Can't wait to find out what happened with Jim and his Mom!
Hope you are feeling a lil less lethargic today!! lol
What is the weather like for you.
We are freezing again tonight, and then Tuesday it will slowly start to warm up and we will be in the low 70's by Friday. Whooooo-Hooooo
We had a pipe break on our sprinkler system, it is above ground where it attaches to the water spiget on the house. Just gently leaking, praise the Lord, but will have to be fixed soon.
Too cold right now tho, we are so
thankful it can wait a bit!!
Well, have a great evening.
So glad your back!!
Love and Blessings, Nellie

Sally said...

oh my goodness, that is like paradise! So beautiful! I have always wanted to go there! I'm glad you had such a fun holiday!

LA Adams said...

Thanks, you made Vinci seem so real. 17 siblings would take a lot of work, but interesting that he would use his fathers books as a spring board to his life. Fathers and son connection.
Spencer Kimball was an accomplished singer too. Maybe it is windows open after the door is shut to see life in a different view.