Unveil the signature art of Leonardo da Vinci

Unveil the signature art of Leonardo da Vinci

Original, hidden, unexpected: Leonardo da Vinci’s signatures were also the result of art documented for the first time in 11 works spanning 44 years: from the painting of the Archangel Gabriel in 1471 to the famous portrait of 1517 held in the Royal Library of Turin. Credit for this fine reconstruction goes to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Art of Signing by Ivana R Bonfantino and Auguste Stone Publisher Giuseppe De Nicola, €25.00.

We are indebted to the graphologist Bonfantino for the research that led in 2018 to the identification of the first signed and dated work by Leonardo da Vinci, the underglaze of 1471 with the painting of the Archangel Gabriel, possibly a self-portrait executed in his grandfather’s kiln in Pacrito. Studies and analyzes that followed the identification of this first signature later led to the discovery that Leonardo left throughout his life a mark of appreciation in his paintings, drawings and symbols, with graphic traces deliberately hidden. Research confirming the value that a signature holds for artists: “It is the way in which a work of art is completed, to confirm and to validate it,” writes the graphic scientist. As for Leonardo, he “turned the meaning of the signature, developing a true and proper art that, in his time, made the school and traces of which have since been lost,” Bonfantino writes again.

The book brings together the documentation of handwriting analyzes of 11 works held in museums and institutions in Italy, Austria, France, Great Britain, and the United States. It is a journey from which it becomes clear that the signature “not only signed the work, but made it unique and unrepeatable, a kind of watermark that can only be seen on condition of being able to see it, which does not taint the absolute purity of the work as something exotic, while remaining center stage” .

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In the majolica of 1471, for example, the signature “Da Vinci Leonardo” is found on the jaw of the Archangel Gabriel, written from left to right, accompanied by the date, 1471, and the numbers 72 and 52, in a sort of repos. A story reconstructed, step by step, with the help of Leonardo’s handwriting analysis and ingenuity. This first work takes place as do the other ten analyzed in the book, from the painting “Landscape with River” of 1473 to the draft of a flying machine and other drawings given in the Codex Atlanticus, up to the self-portrait of 1517

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