Saturday, June 22, 2019

Leonardo in Valdichiana: the design of the territory and the science of water

Exhibition Leonardo Da Vinci in Valdichiana

the design of the territory and the science of water

Leonardo da Vinci was also employed as a cartographer, numerous, in fact, are the maps he designed in his long life.

Map of Valdichiana draw by Leonardo da Vinci
The Map of Valdichiana is one of Leonardo's most refined cartographic products. It was designed between 1502 and 1503 when the artist was in the service of Cesare Borgia as an architect and military engineer. It is a paper that stands out for the richness of its topographic and hydrographic contents but also for the particular bird's-eye representation that makes it a sort of aerial photography before its time.
To give the impression of three-dimensionality is the perspective representation of castles and mountain reliefs, as well as the evident crushing of the Volterra area, artfully compressed to extend the cartographic representation to the sea. The numerous toponyms allow the identification of 254 geographical places, including cities, castles, and rivers distributed in an area extended between Florence, the Aretino, the Trasimeno, the Sienese Chianti, the Volterrano, the Val d’Orcia and the Val di Cecina. The main object of the representation, however, is the great swamp that from the Middle Ages plagued the Val di Chiana with unhealthy air.
Leonardo highlighted the marshy area with a light blue so as to make the numerous streams that flowed towards the Chiana master canal, the ancient river Clanis which gives its name to the region, clearly visible with a darker blue. for about three centuries it flooded the surrounding plain. The hydrographic function of the map is well highlighted in a study sheet in which Leonardo detects a dry canal, noting that it was closed by the lord of Perugia Andrea Fortebracci: “Braccio da Montone closed it".
It is likely that Leonardo's map would serve as a preliminary study for a remediation intervention in the Chiane area.
A second hypothesis is that the hydrographic study of that territory was destined to transform the unhealthy marsh into a large water reservoir to guarantee the constant navigability of the Florence Canal, the project that Leonardo developed in the same period for the Florentine Republic. In this second hypothesis, the Valdichiana map is linked to the other maps of the Tuscan territory in which Leonardo elaborates the project of the navigable canal from Florence to the sea.

Montepulciano, Fortezza
From 25 May 2019 - 08 September 2019
Info: Tel. +39 0577/286300
Hours: Every day from 1030h to 1830h
Ticket: Euro 5,00