Leonardo da Vinci's mother was a white SLAVE who was trafficked from the Caucasus.

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According to an Italian expert, documents that he has studied show that Leonardo da Vinci's mother, Caterina, was a slave. However, these findings are very controversial.

Leonardo da Vinci's mother was a white SLAVE who was trafficked from the Caucasus mountains and sold many times before meeting his Italian notary father, new research reveals


  • The Renaissance master was only half-Italian, a professor has claimed
  • But any da Vinci discovery is hotly contested by the experts who study him

Leonardo da Vinci was only half-Italian as his mother was a slave from the Caucasus, research has revealed.It was previously believed that da Vinci's mother Caterina was a Tuscan peasant - but an expert on the Renaissance master believes the truth is more complicated.


Carlo Vecce, a professor at the University of Naples, told AFP at the launch of his new book on the subject: 'Leonardo's mother was a Circassian slave... taken from her home in the Caucasus Mountains, sold and resold several times in Constantinople, then Venice, before arriving in Florence.'
In the Italian city, she met a young notary, Piero da Vinci, 'and their son was called Leonardo'.
The findings of Professor Vecce - who has spent decades studying da Vinci, whose works include the Mona Lisa - are based on Florence city archives.Among the documents he found is one written by da Vinci's father himself, a legal certificate of emancipation for Caterina, 'to recover her freedom and recover her human dignity'. This document is dated 1452 - the year of da Vinci's birth - and was presented at a press conference at the headquarters of publishing house Giunti in Florence on Tuesday.

It was written by 'the man who loved Caterina when she was still a slave, who gave her this child named Leonardo and (was) also the person who helped to free her', Professor Vecce said.

His findings offers a radical change of perspective on da Vinci, whose mother, Caterina di Meo Lippi, was believed to have been a young Tuscan peasant woman, rather than a slave.
Historians already knew that, because of the nature of his birth in a village outside Florence, da Vinci did not receive the formal education that would have made it easy for him to follow in his father's footsteps and take up a profession.Instead, he began his career as an apprentice in the studio of Florentine painter Verrocchio.

By the age of 18 he had become a member of the prestigious painters' guild, dressed in rose-coloured tunics and boasted a long curling beard.

Professor Vecce believes that the difficult life of his 'migrant' mother had an impact on the work of her brilliant son.
'Caterina left Leonardo a great legacy, certainly, the spirit of freedom which inspires all of his intellectual scientific work,' he said.
'He doesn't let anything stop him.' Some may consider the idea that this epitome of a 'Renaissance man' was the product of such a union too good to be true.
But Dr Matthew Landrus, also a leading da Vinci scholar, said Professor Vecce's work is 'very important and interesting'.
He told MailOnline that it gives scholars 'so much more information' about Caterina and adds to discussions about who she may have been.
'Professor Vecce has found something that shows not only that but shows where she was originally from, that she was sold into slavery north of Italy and then human trafficked to work in the household of the Vinci family,' he said.
'It wasn't known what her actual history was and this document tells us something about that.'

Paolo Galluzzi, a da Vinci historian and member of the prestigious Lincei scientific academy in Rome, added his approval, saying the research is 'by far the most convincing'.

Speaking to AFP, he highlighted the quality of the documents discovered by his colleague, adding that there 'must remain a minimum of doubt, because we cannot do a DNA test'. Galluzzi said he was also not surprised.
The period into which da Vinci was born marks 'the beginning of modernity, the exchanges between people, cultures and civilisations which gave birth to the modern world', he said.
As well as the fact that he was illegitimate, da Vinci was also left-handed, at a time when it was considered a curse from the devil.
Da Vinci is also believed to have been gay, at a time when homosexuals living in Florence could be buried alive head first.

When he was aged just 24, the polymath and three friends were accused of homosexual activity. Fortunately, the case was dismissed.

As well as the Mona Lisa, his other works included the famous Last Supper painting - a depiction of Jesus Christ's last meal with his disciples before he was crucified.
And da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, a drawing of a nude man in two superimposed positions, is regarded as one of the most iconic images of Western civilisation.
But during his lifetime, da Vinci was likely to be more famous for his feats in the fields of civil engineering, music, architecture, sculpture and military machines.
He famously designed versions of aeroplanes and helicopters, centuries before the first powered flight.
And his dissections of human corpses, at a time when the practice was taboo, shed new light on muscles and the nervous system.
Among his anatomical discoveries was the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.

On his death, he left his notes to young apprentice Francesco Melzi. Melzi's son then inherited the notes and abandoned them in an attic cupboard.

They remained unknown and unpublished until 200 years after da Vinci's death.



68725703-11862125-Carlo_Vecce_an_expert_on_Leonardo_has_used_his_findings_to_write-a-1_1678882621663.jpg

Professor Vecce, an expert on Leonardo, has used his findings to write a novel - The Smile of Caterina, the Mother of Leonardo

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...-SLAVE-half-Italian-new-research-reveals.html
 
Circassian woman, date unknown.


Circassian_woman.jpg
 
Circassian slaves were very common among the Ottoman and Safavid empires. They were valued for their beauty. I think it's possible that some were resold and brought to Italy. Regarding Leonardi Da Vinces mother I know very little though.
 
Circassian slaves were very common among the Ottoman and Safavid empires. They were valued for their beauty. I think it's possible that some were resold and brought to Italy. Regarding Leonardi Da Vinces mother I know very little though.


fits in nicely with the Venetian slave trade from Venetian owned Tana ( now called Azov ) for circassian women ................IIRC , there was only just over 1000 women all up ( over many decades ) and it ceased by 1435 ish.

everything stopped in the black sea ports from 1460 , even genovese crimea slave trade up to 1460 ..........genovese mostly dealt in Tatar and greek slaves
 
I repeat what I have already written in another thread. The one in the DailyMail is perhaps one of the worst articles to have appeared in the Anglo-American press.

Peremptory statements on the occasion of a novel release but in the end there is no smoking gun. Carlo Vecce is just advertising his novel, no research has come out yet. Nor is it true that as he claims he discovered new documents. Those documents have been known since at least the 1980s, and published in 1992, and other scholars do not think there is any evidence that this Caterina of Circassian origin is really Leonardo's mother.

The myth of Leonardo's slave and foreign mother arose a few decades ago because Caterina was often a name given to female slaves during that period and the idea that slaves could not be local. But Caterina was not exclusively a name for female slaves, it was also a name given to free local women, even of the local nobility, just to give an example.

However, having created the myth, some desperately try to prove it. The latter in particular, who teaches at the Orientale in Naples (and therefore must have some interest in the "Orient" for sure) has chosen to publish a novel, mixing true facts with invented ones. Which is not very intellectually honest stuff for a historian. Because it will completely confuse the readers, but effective enough to feed the myth. Whether true or false. Not to mention the newspaper articles that came out, without even checking what was stated, that were only interested in framing this story in a modern political key. The truth is that there is still no definitive proof of Leonardo's mother's identity. And Martin Kemp's earlier work, which claimed that she was a local woman, is much more serious work than a novel.


Long read - What do we really know about Leonardo da Vinci's mother?

https://www.finestresullarte.info/e...-really-know-about-leonardo-da-vinci-s-mother


Circassian slaves were very common among the Ottoman and Safavid empires. They were valued for their beauty. I think it's possible that some were resold and brought to Italy. Regarding Leonardi Da Vinces mother I know very little though.


There was indeed a market in Italy for Circassian slave girls, it is a known fact, brought to Italy by Genoese or Venetians. Venice was probably the main slave market and clearly the first buyers were the families of the Venetian Republic, and secondarily all the others.

However, this does not prove that Leonardo's mother was one. The documents published so far do not prove this, including those mentioned by the author of this novel that has just been published in Italy.
 
I repeat what I have already written in another thread. The one in the DailyMail is perhaps one of the worst articles to have appeared in the Anglo-American press.

Peremptory statements on the occasion of a novel release but in the end there is no smoking gun. Carlo Vecce is just advertising his novel, no research has come out yet. Nor is it true that as he claims he discovered new documents. Those documents have been known since at least the 1980s, and published in 1992, and other scholars do not think there is any evidence that this Caterina of Circassian origin is really Leonardo's mother.

The myth of Leonardo's slave and foreign mother arose a few decades ago because Caterina was often a name given to female slaves during that period and the idea that slaves could not be local. But Caterina was not exclusively a name for female slaves, it was also a name given to free local women, even of the local nobility, just to give an example.

However, having created the myth, some desperately try to prove it. The latter in particular, who teaches at the Orientale in Naples (and therefore must have some interest in the "Orient" for sure) has chosen to publish a novel, mixing true facts with invented ones. Which is not very intellectually honest stuff for a historian. Because it will completely confuse the readers, but effective enough to feed the myth. Whether true or false. Not to mention the newspaper articles that came out, without even checking what was stated, that were only interested in framing this story in a modern political key. The truth is that there is still no definitive proof of Leonardo's mother's identity. And Martin Kemp's earlier work, which claimed that she was a local woman, is much more serious work than a novel.......


I have to side with you on this one. The slave theory concerning the origin of Da Vinci's mother is not new.

In 2008, "The Guardian" already published an article about Leonardo da Vinci's mother's heritage. In this article, it was stated that, according to Francesco Cianchi, Leonardo da Vinci's mother was a slave. And it was also said that, according to another Italian academic, a fingerprint of the famous painter would show a configuration that can only be found in Arabs. The second claim is just bizarre. How can the race or ethnicity of an individual be determined by his fingerprints? This is utter nonsense.


Da Vinci's mother was a slave, Italian study claims

This article is more than 14 years old


John Hooper in Rome
Sat 12 Apr 2008 00.17 BST



The seemingly far-fetched theory that Leonardo da Vinci was of Arab descent has been given new backing in a study, published this week, that suggests his mother was a slave.

It is known that Da Vinci's parents were not married and that his father was a Florentine notary, Ser Piero. In a tax record dating from 1457, five years after the Italian polymath's birth, his mother is described as one Caterina, who by then was married to a man from the Tuscan town of Vinci. It was assumed she was a local woman. But, according to Francesco Cianchi, the author of the study, "There is no Caterina in Vinci or nearby villages who can be linked to Ser Piero. The only Caterina in Piero's life seems to be a slave girl who lived in the house of his wealthy friend, Vanni di Niccolo di Ser Vann."

In his will, the Florentine banker left Caterina to his wife. But on his death in 1451, his house went to his friend and executor, Ser Piero.
The fact that the banker's widow continued to live in the house, soon hiring a new servant, forms the basis for the theory that Ser Piero allowed her to stay in return for freeing Caterina. The slave woman disappears from the Florence records thereafter.
On April 15 1452, Da Vinci was born in Vinci. A few months later, his mother married one Acchattabriga di Piero del Vaccha.
The study casts light on slavery in Renaissance Italy. At the research's launch, Alessandro Vezzosi, a Da Vinci scholar and founder of the Museo Ideale at Vinci, said: "A lot of well-to-do and prominent families bought women from eastern Europe and the Middle East. The young girls were then baptised. The most common names were Maria, Marta - and Caterina."
Last year, a study by an Italian academic of a fingerprint left by Da Vinci found that it included a configuration normally only found among Arabs.



 
I have to side with you on this one. The slave theory concerning the origin of Da Vinci's mother is not new.

In 2008, "The Guardian" already published an article about Leonardo da Vinci's mother's heritage. In this article, it was stated that, according to Francesco Cianchi, Leonardo da Vinci's mother was a slave. And it was also said that, according to another Italian academic, a fingerprint of the famous painter would show a configuration that can only be found in Arabs. The second claim is just bizarre. How can the race or ethnicity of an individual be determined by his fingerprints? This is utter nonsense.

The news of the fingerprint even predates 2008 and can already be found in articles from 2006. At this point it must be remembered that the fingerprint was only reconstructed and therefore should first be proven to be the true fingerprint of Leonardo.

In a 2006 article, this reconstructed fingerprint was already rejected as evidence of a Middle Eastern origin by Simon Cole, associate professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California at Irvine.


Other experts, however, say that determining ethnicity based on fingerprints is vague.

What the science says, "generally speaking, is that if your parent has a lot of arches, you'll probably have a lot of arches," said Simon Cole, associate professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California at Irvine.

"The science essentially comes up with breakdowns: x percent of Asians have arches, x have whorls, x have loops. Some races have very low incidences of some patterns and very high incidences of others."

But "you can't predict one person's race from these kinds of incidences," he said, especially if looking at only one finger.


The modus operandi of the proponents of the story of Leonardo's foreing mother is very closely reminiscent of what happened for years with the origins of the Etruscans, where proponents (usually non famous scholars) of the Eastern origin nonchalantly claimed to have found proof of the Eastern origin of the Etruscans. Today we know how it turned out: they were all wrong.

Note that the 2006 article contains a quote from Carlo Vecce himself, who was already a supporter of Leonardo's foreign mother thesis at the time. This shows how his mindset works, he had already decided that Leonardo's mother came from somewhere far away. He is another specimen of circular argumentation.

As Martin Kemp, art historian at Oxford, told few hours ago on the Vecce's statements, Vecce's ‘fictionalized’ account needs the sensation of a slave mother,” “I still favor our ‘rural’ mother, who is a better fit, not least as the future wife of a local ‘farmer,’” he said. “But an unremarkable story does not match the popular need for a sensational story in tune with the current obsession with slavery.” It is worth mentioning that Carlo Vecce teaches at the Orientale in Naples. So, he clearly has a soft spot for the Orient. Which he must be projecting onto Leonardo.

As Kemp, who supports the local origin of Leonardo's mother and the only scholar who does not need to advertise himself, also repeated, "none of the stories are demonstrably proven."

Let's be clear, the issue here is not whether Leonarco may or may not have a foreign mother. The issue here is what arguments are used to support it.
 
In the case of Leonardo da Vinci's mother's origin, it seems that there are different viewpoints among scholars. Some suggest that Leonardo's mother may have had a foreign or slave heritage, while others argue for a local origin. Evaluating the arguments and evidence presented by each side is essential to forming a well-informed opinion.


Regarding the claim that the race or ethnicity of an individual can be determined by fingerprints, it is indeed a controversial assertion. Fingerprint patterns are influenced by genetic and environmental factors, but it is generally not possible to determine someone's specific race or ethnicity solely based on their fingerprints.


No one has ever produced a study proving that the mother was foreign. So far only speculation.

Martin Kemp, an authoritative scholar and supporter of the local origin of Leonardo's mother, is, on the other hand, the only one who has so far really produced studies in which he shows that he has dug deep into archives.

Not only is it not possible to derive ethnic information from a fingerprint, but we do not even know if the fingerprint used is really Leonardo's.

Leonardo's case closely resembles that of the Etruscans. Foreign origins are not only more attractive to the public, but are also more palatable to certain circles that use history for political propaganda than the topic of migration today.
 

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