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14 May 2019 at 7:47 am

Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th Anniversary

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A preview of my photographic work on Leonardo da Vinci

On May 2, 2019, the fifth centenary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci occurred, a celebration of one of the most renowned archetypes of the “universal man” typical of the Renaissance time. Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born in Anchiano (municipality of Vinci) on April the 15th 1452 and he died in Amboise (France) on May the 2nd 1519. He spawned his interest in the most different fields of art and knowledge; he dealt with architecture, sculpture, he busied himself in drawing, he wrote essays, he was a scenographer, anatomist, musician, designer and inventor. He is considered one of the greatest geniuses of all time.

During 2018 I have further deepened my studies about this artist by developing a photographic research; I have retraced his life, following the “traces” he has left, the hypotheses that concern him and the testimonies of his influence on arts, technology and today’s life. Starting from my own land, Romagna, where Leonardo lived and worked for Cesare Borgia, renovating the fortifications of the local Rocche (castles), later I visited Vinci and Florence where the artist lived and spent his childhood. In Florence I traced back some of Leonardo’s official heirs, including the Maestro Franco Zeffirelli, one of the world’s most renowned Italian directors. I explored and photographed the Valmarecchia and the Iseo Lake, identified by some recent studies as the backgrounds Leonardo painted in some of his pictures (the Mona Lisa and the Virgin of the Rocks), managing to find the exacts spots described in the studies. In Forlì I have photographed the “Da Vinci” robot, the most evolved robot system for the mini-invasive surgery, during a surgical procedure to remove a tumour. Finally, in Milan, I have documented the wing inside the Museum of Technology dedicated to Da Vinci’s genius.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Pippo Zeffirelli, adoptive son of Franco Zeffirelli and vice President of the Zeffirelli Foundation (in charge of the Museum), in his study in Florence. The Museum houses over 250 works by the internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli, including sketches, drawings and costumes. An official research in 2016, conducted by Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, of the Ideal Leonardo da Vinci Museum, has identified 35 heirs of Leonardo da Vinci, among whom Franco Zeffirelli, who was already aware of this lineage. When in 2007, at the Quirinale, the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano gave the Maestro Zeffirelli, whose real name is Gianfranco Corsi, the Leonardo Award, the director pronounced what seemed like a joke: “I Corsi, which is my family, are also a family descending from Leonardo”.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Zeffirelli Museum, Inferno Hall, Florence. The Museum houses over 250 works by the internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli, including sketches, drawings and costumes. An official research in 2016, conducted by Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, of the Ideal Leonardo da Vinci Museum, has identified 35 heirs of Leonardo da Vinci, among whom Franco Zeffirelli, who was already aware of this lineage. When in 2007, at the Quirinale, the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano gave the Maestro Zeffirelli, whose real name is Gianfranco Corsi, the Leonardo Award, the director pronounced what seemed like a joke: “I Corsi, which is my family, are also a family descending from Leonardo”.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Robot “Da Vinci”, at the Morgani-Pierantoni Hospital in Forlì. With considerable foresight, in 2006 the Cassa di Risparmio di Forlì Foundation donated to the city hospital the “Da Vinci” robot, one of the first to be used in Italy. In 2012, the donation was repeated to provide the hospital with the new model, “Da Vinci IS 3000”. The Forlì Hospital still remains at the forefront in the interventions that use this tool and boasts highly trained and qualified personnel to use it. In the photograph, the personnel, in the operating room, prepares the accessories and tools that will be used by the robot.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Robot “Da Vinci”, at the Morgani-Pierantoni Hospital in Forlì. With considerable foresight, in 2006 the Cassa di Risparmio di Forlì Foundation donated to the city hospital the “Da Vinci” robot, one of the first to be used in Italy. In 2012, the donation was repeated to provide the hospital with the new model, “Da Vinci IS 3000”. The Forlì Hospital still remains at the forefront in the interventions that use this tool and boasts highly trained and qualified personnel to use it.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Robot “Da Vinci”, at the Morgani-Pierantoni Hospital in Forlì. With considerable foresight, in 2006 the Cassa di Risparmio di Forlì Foundation donated to the city hospital the “Da Vinci” robot, one of the first to be used in Italy. In 2012, the donation was repeated to provide the hospital with the new model, “Da Vinci IS 3000”. The Forlì Hospital still remains at the forefront in the interventions that use this tool and boasts highly trained and qualified personnel to use it.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Santa Croce Church Baptistry, Vinci (FI). Built in the Compagnia del Corpus Domini oratory, it was inaugurated on April 15 1952 during the celebrations for the fifth centenary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth. In the very middle of the octagonal area, a project by Giulio Arata, the ancient baptismal font can be found, in which it is believed that, on April 16 1452, the parish priest Piero di Bartolomeo Cecci baptized Leonardo da Vinci. “On Saturday April 15, at 3 am, my nephew, son of my son Ser Piero, was born (according to the Gregorian Calendar it was the 23rd of April, at 9.40 pm). He was called Lionardo and was baptized by the priest Piero di Bartolomeo da Vinci…” – Ser Antonio da Vinci, Leonardo’s grandfather.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonardo da Vinci’s hologram in Leonardo’s home in Anchiano, municipality of Vinci (FI), today a museum.
A full-size hologram, together with videos, theatre and documentaries, shows an old and tired Leonardo who, from his last home in Amboise, looks back and tells stories about his past, the people he met, the studies, the facts that took place in his hometown.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonardo’s home in Anchiano, municipality of Vinci (FI), today a museum. In this small country house, three kilometres from the Vinci village, Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452. The ancient building, probably edified in 1427, was donated in recent times to the Vinci Municipality by the Count Giovanni Rasini di Montecampo to become a museum in 1952. Today this home is the destination of a significant cultural pilgrimage.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

The village of Vinci (FI) where Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452. Vinci is an Italian municipality with a population of about 15.000 inhabitants, located in the province of Firenze. It is situated in the North of Tuscany, on the slopes of the Montalbano, a hillside area with vineyards and olive groves.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Museo Leonardiano in Vinci (FI). Located in two different buildings, in the Palazzina Uzielli and the Count Guidi Castle, it is one of the widest and most peculiar collections dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. On display, more than 60 models of machines, explained with accurate references based on the artist’s annotations, together with digital animations and interactive apps. Visited each year by 130 thousand people, the Museo Leonardiano is one of the most important museums in Tuscany.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Outside view from the Museo Leonardiano, Vinci (FI). On the left corner Mario Ceroli’s wooden sculpture, “The Man of Vinci”, inspired by the famous Vitruvian Man by Leonardo. Located in two different buildings, in the Palazzina Uzielli and the Count Guidi Castle, the Museum is one of the widest and most peculiar collections dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. On display, more than 60 models of machines, explained with accurate references based on the artist’s annotations, together with digital animations and interactive apps. Visited each year by 130 thousand people, the Museo Leonardiano is one of the most important museums in Tuscany.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonardo da Vinci’s bronze bust in the Museo Leonardiano, Vinci (FI). Located in two different buildings, in the Palazzina Uzielli and the Count Guidi Castle, the Museum is one of the widest and most peculiar collections dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. On display, more than 60 models of machines, explained with accurate references based on the artist’s annotations, together with digital animations and interactive apps. Visited each year by 130 thousand people, the Museo Leonardiano is one of the most important museums in Tuscany.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

San Pantaleo cemetery, Vinci (FI). Leonardo’s mother was called Caterina di Meo Lippi; she was a poor and orphan girl who gave him birth when she was barely sixteen years old (according to researcher Giuseppe Pallanti and the art historian Martin Kemp, professor at Oxford University, one of the most acknowledged experts on Leonardo’s works). According to some recent studies she lived in the small village of San Pantaleo, a few kilometres from Vinci, in which she attended the local Church.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Reproductions of Leonardo’s works decorate the path that, among olive groves and vineyards, leads from Vinci to the artist’s home in Anchiano.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Luigi Pampaloni’s sculpture of Leonardo. Between 1842 and 1856, 28 marble sculptures were put in the niches of the outside pillars of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, portraying the famous Tuscany citizens from the Middle Age until the Nineteenth Century.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

One of the corridors in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence. The complex constitutes, for the quantity and quality of the works collected, one of the most important museums in the world. The Uffizi host the most important existing collections of Raffaello and Botticelli, as well as fundamental groups of works by Giotto, Tiziano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Pontormo, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens and others. The museum has only 3 works by Leonardo da Vinci: “The Baptism of Christ” of 1475, a work of his master Verrocchio in which the young Leonardo painted some details (the head of an angel, the landscape and perhaps the modelling of the body of Christ). “The Annunciation”, painted by a twenty-year-old Leonardo and “The Adoration of the Magi”, an unfinished work.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Uffizi Gallery, rooms dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. In the middle, over the passage, the work “L’Adorazione dei Magi”. The complex constitutes, for the quantity and quality of the works collected, one of the most important museums in the world. The Uffizi host the most important existing collections of Raffaello and Botticelli, as well as fundamental groups of works by Giotto, Tiziano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Pontormo, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens and others. The museum has only 3 works by Leonardo da Vinci: “The Baptism of Christ” of 1475, a work of his master Verrocchio in which the young Leonardo painted some details (the head of an angel, the landscape and perhaps the modelling of the body of Christ). “The Annunciation”, painted by a twenty-year-old Leonardo and “The Adoration of the Magi”, an unfinished work.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Loggia della Signoria, Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Built between 1376 and 1382, since the sixteenth century the loggia has welcomed a number of sculptural masterpieces, becoming one of the first exhibition spaces in the world. The relationship between the two Renaissance geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, was difficult and tense because of the generational difference (Michelangelo was 23 years younger) and because of the different characters and the irreconcilably distant artistic ideals. On January 25, 1504 a commission of Florentine artists, including Leonardo, was invited to decide where to place Michelangelo’s David. Leonardo proposed a secluded position in the Loggia della Signoria, close to a wall framed by a niche. In the end, the commission voted for the artist Filippino Lippi’s proposal of a prominent, dominant and influential location in front of Palazzo Vecchio, the most important building in the city, as well as the nerve centre of Florentine politics and social life.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Loggia della Signoria, Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Built between 1376 and 1382, since the sixteenth century the loggia has welcomed a number of sculptural masterpieces, becoming one of the first exhibition spaces in the world. The relationship between the two Renaissance geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, was difficult and tense because of the generational difference (Michelangelo was 23 years younger) and because of the different characters and the irreconcilably distant artistic ideals. On January 25, 1504 a commission of Florentine artists, including Leonardo, was invited to decide where to place Michelangelo’s David. Leonardo proposed a secluded position in the Loggia della Signoria, close to a wall framed by a niche. In the end, the commission voted for the artist Filippino Lippi’s proposal of a prominent, dominant and influential location in front of Palazzo Vecchio, the most important building in the city, as well as the nerve centre of Florentine politics and social life.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Salone dei Cinquecento. Historically and artistically speaking, it is the largest and most important room of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It has a length of 54 meters, a width of 23 and a height of 18 meters. In 1503 the Gonfaloniere “a vita” (a lifetime position) Pier Soderini agreed with the two greatest Florentine artists of the time, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, to decorate the walls of the hall with two large frescoes (about 17×7 meters), with battle scenes celebrating the victories of the Republic. Leonardo was to represent the Battle of Anghiari, while Michelangelo was in charge of the Battle of Cascina. However, none of the two works was ever completed: Leonardo experimented with the technique of encaustic, which proved to be disastrous, while Michelangelo only stopped at the cardboard, before leaving for Rome called by Pope Julius II. Both works have been lost. About 60 years later, Giorgio Vasari decorated the portion of the wall that had been destined to Leonardo, depicting the Battle of Marciano. According to one theory Vasari, extremely respectful of Leonardo’s work, covered the remains under a new plaster or wall to save them.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Salone dei Cinquecento. Historically and artistically speaking, it is the largest and most important room of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It has a length of 54 meters, a width of 23 and a height of 18 meters. In 1503 the Gonfaloniere “a vita” (a lifetime position) Pier Soderini agreed with the two greatest Florentine artists of the time, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, to decorate the walls of the hall with two large frescoes (about 17×7 meters), with battle scenes celebrating the victories of the Republic. Leonardo was to represent the Battle of Anghiari, while Michelangelo was in charge of the Battle of Cascina. However, none of the two works was ever completed: Leonardo experimented with the technique of encaustic, which proved to be disastrous, while Michelangelo only stopped at the cardboard, before leaving for Rome called by Pope Julius II. Both works have been lost. About 60 years later, Giorgio Vasari decorated the portion of the wall that had been destined to Leonardo, depicting the Battle of Marciano. According to one theory Vasari, extremely respectful of Leonardo’s work, covered the remains under a new plaster or wall to save them.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonard Da Vinci Museum, located in the city centre of Florence. The Museum hosts some reproductions of Leonardo’s most famous paintings, other than 40 full-size machines, built following the Maestro’s drawings

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonard Da Vinci Museum, located in the city centre of Florence. The Museum hosts some reproductions of Leonardo’s most famous paintings, other than 40 full-size machines, built following the Maestro’s drawings

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Salone del Verrocchio and sculptures of the second half of the fifteenth century, Bargello National Museum, Florence. Since the interest of the young Leonardo in “designing and drawing in relievo, as he fancied these things more than any other” (Vasari) was getting more and more evident, Ser Piero sent his son, from 1469 or 1470, in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, a place in those years considered one of the most important in Florence, as well as a real breeding ground for new talents (among them Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Domenico Ghirlandaio). Verrocchio played an important role in dealing with different artistic techniques, diffused in the late fifteenth-century Florence, and in fact his workshop became multi-purpose, with works of painting, sculpture, jewellery and decoration, in order to be able to cope with the insistent demand from all over Italy of Florentine products.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Mount San Marco. Piramidal hill on the ridge between Marecchia and Conca, on the Northern side of Carpegna, in Villagrande (RN) where one of the two official Valmarecchia view-points of the “Mona Lisa” landscape was located. Researchers Rosetta Borchia and Olivia Nesci have located on the Mount San Marco one on the view-points from which Leonardo took inspiration to paint the Mona Lisa’s landscape. The small hill stands out in the landscape thanks to its sharp conformation, and it can be recognized also in Piero della Francesca’s painting “The Baptism of Christ” . (Il Paesaggio invisibile, R. Borchia R. Nesci O., 2009).

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

The village of Pennabilli (RN), as seen by one of the Valmarecchia official view-points of the “Mona Lisa” landscapes, according to the studies of Rosetta Borchia and Olivia Nesci, who mapped the area locating the mountains, rivers and bridges that can be seen in the “Gioconda” painting.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

View of Valmarecchia from the slopes of Mount San Marco, in Villagrande (RN), where one of Valmarecchia official view-points of the “Mona Lisa” landscapes was located. Researchers Rosetta Borchia and Olivia Nesci have located on the Mount San Marco one on the view-points from which Leonardo took inspiration to paint the Mona Lisa’s landscape.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Cesena, Rocca Malatestiana. In 1500 Cesare Borgia (illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI), cardinal and Italian condottiero, erected Cesena as capital of the Duchy of Romagna, center of his power. In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci arrived in the city, and Cesare Borgia had entrusted him the task of surveying and updating the fortifications of the cities of Romagna. Of his activity there remain the reliefs of the city walls, with annotations and drawings of the rastelli that protected the main access door to the new fortress. It is certain that Leonardo approved the defensive systems which introduced the new firearms.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Leonardo da Vinci statue, Fiumicino Airport, Rome. Inaugurated on August 19, 1960, the bronze statue, nine meters high, resting on a three-meter high base, is the work of the Bulgarian artist Assen Peikov, who expatriated to Italy during the Second World War. Leonardo da Vinci is depicted with one hand raised to indicate the sky and with the other one supporting one of his most interesting inventions related to flight studies: the aerial screw.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

“Leonardo da Vinci Parade”, “Leonardo da Vinci” Science and Technology Museum in Milan. To celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Museum exhibited the two collections with which it had opened to the public on 15 February 1953. The temporary exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci Parade” (from 19 July 2018 to 13 October 2019), shows a rich selection of models made in the ’50s interpreting the drawings of Leonardo and frescoes of 16th century Lombard painters, the same which were lent in 1952 by the Pinacoteca di Brera. The exhibition is an unusual juxtaposition between art and science in a new path that crosses the different fields of interest and study of Leonardo, enhancing the historical collection of the Museum, the most important in the world.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

The Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum, Paris. La Gioconda, also known as Mona Lisa, is an oil painting on a poplar wood panel made by Leonardo da Vinci, dated around 1503-1504 and kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is the most famous work of the genius of Vinci. It was Leonardo himself who brought the Gioconda with him to France, in 1516, which might have been purchased together with other works by Francesco I. Later Louis XIV had the painting transferred to Versailles, but after the French revolution it was moved to the Louvre. Napoleon Bonaparte put it in his bedroom, but in 1804 the painting returned to the Louvre. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 it was sheltered in a hidden site.

Leonardo da Vinci's 500th Anniversary

Some tourists and visitors in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is one of the most famous museums in the world and the third for number of visitors (7,4 million in 2016). Other than the Mona Lisa (1503-1504), it hosts other Leonardo’s paintings such as the Virgin of the Rocks (1483-1486), La Belle Ferronnière (1490-1495), Portrait of Isabella d’Este (1500), St. John the Baptist (1508-1513), St. Anne, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (1510-1513), Baccus (1510-1515).

INTERVIEW WITH PIPPO ZEFFIRELLI

Franco Zeffirelli, born Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli (Firenze, 12 febbraio 1923), is one of the world’s most famous Italian directors. Due to a serious illness he no longer appears in public and I could not interview him. In his place I had the opportunity to talk with Pippo Zeffirelli, Franco Zeffirelli’s son and vice president of the Zeffirelli Foundation which manages the Museum. An official research in 2016, conducted by Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, of the Ideal Leonardo da Vinci Museum, has identified 35 heirs of Leonardo da Vinci, among whom Franco Zeffirelli, who was already aware of this lineage.

A curious analogy links Leonardo Da Vinci and Franco Zeffirelli, both of them were not acknowledged by their own fathers.
Zeffirelli was born of an extramarital relationship between his father and his mother: they were both married to other people. The mother and her respective husband already had two children but, following an accident, the man could no longer father any children. This was a known fact in Florence and for this reason he could not recognize Franco. The mother was an important seamstress at the time and Franco Zeffirelli was born in a beautiful building in Piazza della Repubblica where there was an atelier, a piano (the mother loved classical music) and much more. His true father always visited him in secret and, when he became a widower, he recognized him. Zeffirelli is an invented surname: since he could not have the surname of his father nor that of his mother’s husband. In the inscriptions at the Spedale degli Innocenti (Innocents’ Hospital) (the word “spedale” comes from the Florentine vernacular; the name refers to the “hospital of the abandoned children” quoting the biblical episode of the Massacre of the Innocents) they used the alphabet letters to name the orphans and, the day in which Gian Franco was brought there, they had reached the letter Z. Since his mother loved the opera, she wanted to name him Zeffiretti, from Mozart’s Idomeneo; however, they misspelled it and the name became Zeffirelli. At the age of 17 he was recognized by his father, a widower by the time, receiving his surname: Corsi. He could not recognize him before because he had a very jealous wife with whom he only had a daughter. His wife resented the fact he had had a boy with another woman. If truth be told, the father had other extra-marital children: he imported fabrics and provided many tailors in Florence and evidently had a certain charm and must have met and satisfied many women because the Maestro in the end discovered five or six half-brothers and sisters; some of them he met later in his life. For example, he found out about a brother during the Second World War; at that time the Maestro was a partisan and had taken refuge in the hills. He already spoke English fairly well and started acting as an interpreter for the English. One day he decided to go down to Florence to visit his father but, along the way, he and a dozen partisans were arrested by a group of fascists. Taken to the barracks, he met this guy behind the desk that filed the arrested boys, asking for the name and surname, and when Zeffirelli’s turn arrived, he gave the whole name: Gian Franco Zeffirelli Corsi, son of Ottorino Corsi. The officer, surprised, asked him “Are you Ottorino’s son?”, “Yes”, at that point he called a guard and had Zeffirelli shut in a room next door. After about half an hour the father arrived in the room where the filings took place and Zeffirelli was brought back too. Surprisingly, the father began patting the officer, telling them to forgive the boy, a fool and a misfit, but in the end quiet and kind, and asked to let him go. The Maestro was released and, going away with his father, asked him who the Fascist was and his father replied “He was your brother”.

The fact that his father acknowledged him only later in his life influenced the Maestro or the works he produced?
The Master had a very sad and hard childhood. In the first two years of his life he was raised by a nurse and then his mother (Alaide Garosi Cipriani), who in the meantime had lost her husband, had to move to Milan where the woman settled with a daughter. They lived there for about 4 years, until his mother died of tuberculosis, leaving the Maestro alone. The father, through his cousin Lide, fetched him. A strong bond was created with the Aunt Lide who took care of Zeffirelli, educating him and making him study, thanks to the financial support of his father who, when he was a widower, was convinced by Lide to get closer to his son to bind a relationship. When he was a child of 6-7 years old, his father’s wife was so furious about him (since he was an extramarital son) that she used to insult him out of school, calling him “little bastard” and biding him to leave Florence; the 1999 film “Tea with Mussolini” is based on these episodes. I think he suffered very much; was his career affected by these facts? It’s difficult to say. I believe he was a very smart child, willing to do things and with a strong personality. He never married and, at a certain point, he adopted Luciano and me to create his own family.

Genius is another common element between Leonardo Da Vinci and Zeffirelli.
The Maestro, although no Leonardo, was a full-fledged artist: from directing, to set design, to costume, to writing books, in short he is a genius too, hardly because of him being Leonardo’s descendant, more likely for a predisposition of the boy and perhaps also thanks to the high-level teachers he found at school. I remember that, in the year in which he graduated from the Institute of Art, he always studied with three friends and all three became great professionals: Piero Tosi, the greatest costume designer in the world, who worked with Visconti, De Sica, Fellini, Pasolini and who also received an Academy Honorary Award; Danilo Donati, who was another genius and who won two Oscars: one for the costumes of Romeo and Juliet by Zeffirelli and one for Il Casanova by Fellini, and Anna Anni, who perhaps was less renowned, but this because she loved to teach and devoted to taching a lot of time, but she too worked a lot with Zeffirelli.

How did Maestro Zeffirelli discover he was one of Leonardo’s descendants?
He always knew it although it was not an established fact, others have done it later (see the official search in 2016). The father had told him many times. For example, at the premiere of the “Romeo and Juliet” theatrical show in London, Maestro Zeffirelli was very excited at the idea that the Queen of England would be present and his father said to him “Keep your head up because she might be the Queen of England, but you are Leonardo da Vinci’s descendant!”

I trust that holding the responsibility of keeping, promoting and passing down Maestro Zeffirelli’s work is quite demanding. Did you give up something to pursue this task?
For fifty years I have worked in the field of cinema, especially with the Maestro, but I also made films with Francis Ford Coppola, (“Cotton Club”), James Ivory (“A Room with a View”) and others. Later I was adopted by Zeffirelli and when he fell ill, I decided to leave the United States, where I lived, to move permanently to Italy to take care of him, help him and carry out family and professional commitments. When we created the Zeffirelli Foundation, it was my turn to deal with it and monitor its management. I do not miss anything, maybe the only thing is that I’m getting quite old, I’m 70, and this commitment will occupy me until the end of my days (he smiles). The adoption occurred when I was already a grown up person, about 25 years ago, the Maestro had already proposed it to me before but I wanted to wait for the death of my father. I could not allow it before.

Do you and your father have a favourite work among the whole Leonardo production?
How could one not love Leonardo’s work? Everything he did came from a deep and profound study. My father, among other things, wanted to work on two very ambitious projects that will remain unfinished. The first was a film about Dante’s Inferno, whose sketches are present here in the museum in the Sala dell’Inferno. The second was a film, entitled “The Florentines”, on the Florentine Republic in which Michelangelo and Leonardo were summoned at the same time: the first to realize the David and the second to strategically divert the course of the Arno during the conflict with Pisa. The film would have deepened the relationship between these two giants who loved each other and hated each other because of mutual envy. There is a marvellous description of life in Florence at the time, of the homosexuality of Michelangelo (Leonardo’s homosexuality is less known) and much more. While we were setting up things for the film we deepened and studied the life of Leonardo and his inventions, learning their greatness. It would have been a stunning film, with a maniacal care for every detail, as only the Maestro could do.

 

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio

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Reportage about nostalgic fascists at the 74th anniversary of the death of Benito Mussolini.
Predappio, Italy, 28/04/2019.

Predappio is a small Italian town with a population of 6.000 inhabitants, situated in the province of Forlì-Cesena, best known for being the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. The Italian dictator is buried there too, in the monumental cemetery of San Cassiano in Pennino.

On these three anniversaries:
– July 29, birth of Benito Mussolini (1883)
– April 28, death of Benito Mussolini (1945)
– October 28, March on Rome (1922)

“pilgrims” from all over Italy flock there, some on their own others on bus tours, to pay homage to the Duce’s grave which, counting more than 80.000 visits every year, is the second most visited grave in Italy, the first being Giovanni Paolo II’s burial place.

The meeting is the Sunday morning closest to the date of the anniversary that is celebrated, in front of the Church of St. Anthony, in the homonymous square, where the march of about 1.5 km starts until the arrival at the Monumental Cemetery of San Cassiano in Pennino.

Contrary to common belief, during these anniversaries one can find young people and families too – common faces opposed to the usual portrait of the serious and strict Fascist. These groups consider the pilgrimage as a Sunday trip or a visit to a distant relation, referring to the Duce as an “Uncle” or “Grandpa Benito”, evoking his wisdom and the inflexibility he would have had in facing today’s problems.

Fascist nostalgia here lacks consistency and becomes almost a fairy tale.

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio, Italy

 

Written by filippo

29 April 2019 at 7:13 pm

Pontremoli Foto Festival

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Pontremoli Foto Festival

Il prossimo luglio sarò ospite del Pontremoli Foto Festival, con la mostra del mio lavoro “Korean dream”, sulla Corea del Nord, e la presentazione del mio libro sulla Corea del Nord e del Sud, intitolato “Korean dream, made in Korea”!

Si tratta di un giovane Festival, giunto alla sua 4° edizione, che ha saputo crescere e farsi conoscere molto rapidamente e, non a caso, sono in ottima compagnia vedendo l’elenco degli altri autori invitati.

Maggiori informazioni a ridosso dell’evento, il cui sito ufficiale è: www.pontremolifotofestival.it

 

Written by filippo

17 April 2019 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Fotografie

Romagna Rugby – Modena Rugby 26-7

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Cesena, 14/04/2019

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Written by filippo

17 April 2019 at 8:25 am