Since 1908 the n.1 source of all things Italian featuring Italian news, culture, business and travel

Issue link: https://italoamericanodigital.uberflip.com/i/1495626

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 39

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2023 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 I t is very curious that a novel and not a scien- tific article (although it will come later), was chosen to reveal the mysterious origins of Leonar- do da Vinci. The recently-pub- lished literary work, which tar- gets all types of readers, wants to honor the universality of Leonardo, the most famous figure of the Italian Renais- s a n c e . H i s g e n i u s , l i k e h i s works, belongs to humanity as a whole and, perhaps, "giving" another piece of his encyclopedic knowledge to everyone was a generous act. Immersing yourself in one of the most cultur- ally fertile of all eras; reading between the lines and under- standing how Florentines of times gone by were not so differ- Finally, Leonardo found his mother From the Editor ent from us; gathering all the emotions that an academic text would not have revealed: these are all opportunities we can- not miss. Especially if you are passionate about history, cul- ture, and art, or simply curious about the man behind the wonderful works he created and left us. Discovering who Leonardo's mother was does not directly impact his scientific, artistic, or engineering production. It does not explain his anatomical studies or machines for war, nor his curiosity about bird flight, which generated early designs of what we call helicopters today. Or does it? How can we exclude or prove it with certainty? Each of us cultivates interests we think are exclusively ours, but are we sure we weren't influenced by our environment, the culture we breathed, and the guidance we received? By the people we met, and by those our friends and family met? How many times did we hear that artistic talent is inherited, how many times were we told that one "is born into a profession" or that one has a profession "in their blood" because talent seems to have passed from one generation to another? But finally solving this five-century-long mystery, that is, giving a name to a woman who - despite being hidden for so long - remains Leonardo da Vinci's mother, is more than sat- isfying a curiosity about the man who transformed the Ital- ian Renaissance. Tracing her profile has, in fact, completed a puzzle and at the same time opened the door to another uni- verse full of more questions. Caterina was of Caucasian origins and a slave. We can assume that her bond with both Leonardo and his father was not lived openly, under the eyes of the community. Consider- ing it all, it is inevitable to wonder whether Leonardo's per- sonality was influenced and whether such emotional and personal baggage - of which we know nothing - affected the thinking of the young, creative man. Perhaps, his mother's smile was etched into his memory, so how can we not think that it is also hidden in that of the Mona Lisa? The long research carried out by Professor Carlo Vecce, the thousands of handwritten pages consulted in archives and libraries, the mountain of information that was some- how condensed in Il Sorriso di Caterina, help us reconstruct and bring to light the bond between Leonardo and his moth- er. But they were also precious for another reason. What reading can we give to Leonardo's new origins? Do they change anything in the way we perceive him? Do these dis- coveries change somehow his traditional iconography? The first and most obvious answer is also the simplest: no, nothing changes. It wouldn't be historically correct to apply contemporary concepts to past events, just as we can't gener- alize and think we all react or perceive things in the same way. The final product, so to speak, doesn't change: the works Leonardo left us are and will remain what they have always been. There will always be something mysterious in it, though. Something will always escape us, as inevitably happens with any artistic creation. Not everything can be explained: there will always be something ineffable, elusive, that goes beyond. However, taking this journey is fascinating. A journey back in time, to recover a piece of our Renaissance through the artist that perhaps best embodies it. A journey where we finally discover that, although he may have been a bit of a stranger by kinship, Leonardo finally became very "Italian," too. Il Sorriso di Caterina doesn't only reveal his origins, it helps grasp, while reading, a piece of Italian culture. It final- ly returns to Leonardo an element that ties him to the most classic of all Italian prototypes: his irreplaceable bond with his mother. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which repre- sents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Nittoli SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Matt Walker, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Jessica L. Levy, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Chuck Pecoraro, Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of L'Italo-Americano - italoamericano-digital-3-23-2023