A new review of The Da Vinci Globe by Elisabetta Gnignera

The recently published reference publication by Cambridge Scholars Publishing with the Title: The Da Vinci Globe by the Belgian Prof. Dr. Stefaan Missinne, Da Vinci’s expert cartographer, breaks new ground.

Based on a very sound methodology, Missinne offers irrefutable evidence for Da Vinci’s authorship of the so-called ‘Ostrich Egg Globe’ dating from 1504 and for its identical twin, the Lenox globe a the New York Public Library.

By investigating in detail the miniature globe engraved on an ostrich egg, Missinne extends his analysis not only to the technical peculiarities of Leonardo Da Vinci but also to the geographical and social context in which this artifact was conceived.

Through a cross-examination of the documentary sources together with autograph annotations of the Tuscan Master concerning, among others, particular chemical devices (detection of arsenic in a metal droplet, consistently with Leonardo’s anti-corrosion method) and mathematical proportional studies and geometrics contained in Leonardo’s codices traceable in the globe itself, Missinne weaves a dense network of evidence that leads him to identify the author of the globe as Leonardo da Vinci.

Following Missinne’s findings,  we learn that the Tuscan master not only knew about the discovery of America, but he also made a preparatory drawing dating from around 1503-1504, kept at the British Library (Codex Arundel) and evidently used for his globe, as he described it in the Codex Atlanticus.

I enjoyed this book very much and I therefore recommend it to anybody interested in the life of this universal Italian genius and author of the oldest globe to depict the new World.

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