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Madonna and Child - Metropolitan Museum

There is a story about Leonardo much publicized by Freud, where Leonardo himself tells he dreams from time to time that when he was still a child in the cradle a Kite, a small bird of prey, "Nibbio" in Italian, did hit repeatedly his mouth with his tail. Freud did see instantly the evidence, that Leonardo had been raped as a child, not improbable for a bastard in a florentine context of the time. But he did not have the courage of going ahead and wrote the book to demonstrate that the Milan was a benevolent Egyptian God and that the hitting was a benediction even if Leonardo spoke explicitly of "percuotere" , to hit or to beat.

Leonardo spoke prominently by images and the Nibbio keeps systematically coming out in his paintings of Madonnas (his mother) and child (himself) because he correctly thought that the infinite rapes perpetrated by the Nibbio and a band of other four guys during the time he did stay at Vinci, made him impotent. Consequently he draws it, usually making it invisible with sophisticated optical tricks, in in the act of eying gluttonly his little pea.This is an easy way to identify a Leonardo painting and the example here reported comes from the Metropolitan in NY. The painting is attributed to the Verrocchio shop.

The figure at the left gives the Madonna in full, in B&W as the drawing comes out more readable. Leonardo's mother was probably left handed as most of his Madonnas hold the child with their right. The detail area shows the left hand of the Madonna which is covered by a flowing veil representing in detail the head of a Nibbio eying the pea of the child. Most beautifully drawn.