Leonardo drawing undergoes scientific analysis

“Il Paesaggio” on temporary move to Vinci

Editorial Staff
January 18, 2019 - 12:38

For the first time, Il Paesaggio by Leonardo, drawn on August 5, 1473, has been subject to scientific testing in order to better understand the nature and story behind the artist’s famous work.



Ph. Uffizi Galleries



The piece will be central to an exhibition in Vinci, running for five weeks starting on April 5, before returning to the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe at the Uffizi. Before going to Vinci, the drawing will first be analysed by experts at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. Using the latest and most advanced tests, scientists at the Opificio’s Fortezza da Basso laboratory are attempting to reveal the evolution of Leonardo’s design which due to its fragile nature, cannot be exposed to light for long periods of time.


The piece was accompanied to the laboratory by Maurizio Michelozzi, expert in restoration and conservation of drawings at the Uffizi. The team working on the project, which includes Letizia Montalbano, a specialist in drawings, and Roberto Bellucci, who has previously worked on Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi, are attempting to understand the chronology of the piece’s creation through scientific diagnostics.



Ph. Uffizi Galleries



Today the first set of analyses highlighted two different drafts in the drawing, in which layers of detail added later have come to light. Currently, optical analyses are being carried out on the front of the drawing, and these same tests will then be applied to the back, where a human figure is sketched.


The scientists seek to elaborate on the different phases of Leonardo’s work, revealing the mysteries behind this design. As noted by the Uffizi’s director, Eike Schmidt, Il Paesaggio is often regarded as a precise geographic depiction of a landscape, but the scientific processes being applied allow for new historical and artistic studies of the work, unearthing the more imaginative thought processes of the genius at work.

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