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
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.