New Review of The Da Vinci Globe (Professor Stefaan Missinne) by map curator (retired) Newberry Library: Robert Karrow

Please see below for excerpts from Robert Karrow’s review of Dr Stefaan Missinne’s The Da Vinci Globe: a thoroughly well-researched and comprehensive biography of one of history’s most compelling artifacts.


“Missinne demonstrated quite convincingly that the Ostrich Egg Globe (OEG) was actually the original pattern (lost for 500 years) for the mold in which the Lenox globe was cast…And now, five years later, after what has clearly been a huge research undertaking in which he travelled widely and apparently spared no expense, he is back to proclaim that Leonardo da Vinci was, in fact the one and only author and fabricator. There is a good deal to be praised here: Dr. Missinne has obviously devoted himself to his task, tracking down many obscure sources, subjecting the globe to many scientific tests, and providing dozens of high-quality photographs of both the OEG and the Hunt-Lenox globe, as well as numerous color photographs from Leonardo’s notebooks and manuscripts. The microphotography is superb…The book positively bristles with documentation, as if every citation, no matter how little it bears on the OEG, serves to bolster the case for Leonardo as author…Dr. Missinne is a very lucky man…I’m not an expert on ostrich egg art, but I’ve looked at a great many early maps and to my curatorial eye, it “looks right.” I see no explanation for the uncanny concordance of the OEG and the Lenox globe other than a cast made directly from the OEG before the halves of the egg were cemented together. I even find the argument for Leonardo’s authorship pretty convincing, especially given his known experiments with casting metals and the extraordinary depiction of waves (quite unlike the water on any other map I know of, and reminiscent of his other depictions of water and human hair).” 

– Robert W. Karrow Jr, map currator (retired) of the Newberry Library, The Portolan, Spring 2019 pp. 60-63


For the full review: please purchase a copy of Issue 104 of The Portolan from The Washington Map Society (linked below)

http://www.washmapsociety.org/Purchase-of-Back-Issues.htm

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