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How comes Leonardo
(by C. Marchetti)

A few years ago a friend of mine, Lisa Venerosi Pesciolini, a well established restaurateur of Renaissance objects, calls me telling she is working on a crucifix of breathtaking beauty and she wants to extract from it a musical motive to present to the conductor of the Duomo choir where she sings. According to the renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti, she said, the proportions of an elegant visual structure can be mirrored into a musical one, preserving the elegance. "Well, " I said "simple to do, send me a photo. Impossible she said as the sponsor had formally prohibited to circulate photos.

We reached a compromise, she would take a photo, draw an outline and fax it to me. The segmentation of the figure necessary for drawing the proportions would have been preserved. All OK but the outline gave me the feeling of dejà vu. However I could not remember where I had seen the elegant bend of Jesus body and the precise angle of head and legs. However the subconscious mills kept grinding and about six months later I felt that outline could be in a book of Mathyla Glyca on the golden proportion. Found the outline, brought it to size and superposed it to that of the Christ. Perfect match. I call Lisa and say: do you know you are restoring a Leonardo. Deep silence, well as you found the line, the crucifix comes from the Bottega of Verrocchio. Well I had cheated a little, but the matching outline was that of the Leda of Leonardo.

Lisa was half skeptical and wanted proofs. I convinced her to pass me the x ray of the crucifix that formally were not the photos she was forbidden to circulate and I could start peering into the infinite tricks of LV. The crucifix was made with an hollow piece of wood whose internal surface was filled up with tiny carvings of all description, from the banal LV scratch to all sort of tiny heads and bodies and edifices. I also started superposing golden ratio grids to his paintings and found still other tricks. Leonardo could draw a garden dinner in the folds of the mantle of a Madonna and hide it with points of varnish whose color had however a short saturation time on the retina. If you look at the area you do not see the scene, but if you fix it for a minute or so the covering color saturates and disappears so the underlying scene pops up visually. I was literally drawn into this infinite sequence of vortexes into vortexes as new images would appear by going smaller. After a number of years I'm still in, with perhaps 10000 photos, mostly macro, and a powerful image processing system to look into them.

How comes Leonardo > page 1 of 3

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