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SIX

Study of a Ilomani. Paperenne fant )

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design for the cabinetmaker. But they wished to show him that even in such a matter they would not pass him by.1

The master found time to interest himself in the discovery of stone quarries. In 1511 he mentions a quarry of “pietra faldata,” at Monbracco, near Saluzzo, which yielded stone as white as Carrara marble. His friend, Master Benedetto, had promised him a sample.

The Milanese meanwhile had once more changed masters. The Governor, Charles d'Amboise, had died in 1511,3 after an administrative career, which would seem to have been extremely stormy.4 On Easter Day, 1512, Gaston de Foix, the general of Louis XII, and a "spoilt child of victory,” died at Ravenna in the midst of his triumphs. A few months afterwards the French had to evacuate Milan, where nothing but the Castle remained in their hands. Scarcely had they made their exit by one gate than Maximilian Sforza, Il Moro's eldest son, made his entry by another. This was on the 29th of December, 1512.

If any one should have felt embarrassment before the son of Lodovico, it was assuredly Leonardo, who had transferred his allegiance so readily to Il Moro's supplanters. Maximilian, who was born in 1491, was twenty-one years old at the time of his triumphal return, so that the memory of his father's wrongs must have been hot in his breast. But, in those days, there was no time to waste upon the gratification of private hatreds.

Several portraits of Maximilian have been appealed to as proofs that the artist and the son of his old protector were soon reconciled, but the ascription of these portraits to Leonardo can no longer be accepted.1

i Costruzione degli stalli del coro, 1510, Lunedi, 21 Ottobre. “Facto verbo de stadiis fiendis in ecclesia majori, ordinatum est quod vocentur infrascripti, videlicet dom. Jacobus Rabia, Marcus Antonius Dugnanus, Franciscus Coyrus, alias ex deputatis præfatæ fabricæ, et super dictis stadiis fiendis electi, nec non magistri Johannes Antonius Homodeus, Andreas de Fusina, præfatæ fabricæ ingenierii, ac magistri Leonardus Florentinus et Cristophorus Gobbus, quatenus accedant ad cameram præfata fabricæ die jovis proxime futuri hora debita consilii.” (Annali della Fabrica del duomo di Milano, vol. ii., p. 153.)

2 Richter, vol. ii., p. 245. Is not this the Florentine, Benedetto da Rovezzano (b. 1474 ; d. after 1552)?

3 A description of his funeral, which took place on the 18th of December, is given by Prato (Archivio storico italiano, vol. iii., p. 283).

4 Among Leonardo's notes we find the following: “On the oth day of December, at 9 o'clock A.M., fire was set to the place.” “On the 18th day of December, 1511, at 9 o'clock A.M., this second fire was kindled by the Swiss at Milan, at the place called DCXC.” (Richter, vol. ii., p. 235.)

Maximilian, moreover, did not long enjoy this return of fortune. In 1513, his subjects revolted on the approach of the French. Although his power seemed to be restored in 1513, after the rout of Louis XII. at Novara, the defeat of Marignano put a final end to his domination two years later. He was obliged to renounce his rights over Milan, and, like so many of Leonardo's friends and protectors-Lodovico Sforza, Trivulzio, the sculptor Rustici—he ended his days in France. His death took place in Paris, in 1530.

Leonardo's destiny was a sad one. Old before his time and prematurely bald, at the age of sixty he had to seek a new protector and a fresh asylum. We shall next find him at Rome, and in the service of Pope Leo X.

A political revolution drove Leonardo from Milan ; another, more pacific in character, sent him to seek his fortune in Rome. Julius II., the soldier Pope, who was accustomed to enter towns by the breaches he had battered in their walls, had been succeeded on the lith March, 1513, by Giovanni de' Medici, son of the great Lorenzo, and inheritor of long-established traditions of luxury and taste, who had taken the name of Leo X. No sooner had the choice of the Conclave become known than, from far and near, all who plumed themselves on their fame in art-architects, sculptors, painters : Fra Bartolommeo, Sodoma, Signorelli, Timoteo Viti, etc.—hastened to the precincts of the Vatican.

Leonardo took for granted that a Sovereign Pontiff with a passionate love of the arts, would give a cordial welcome to a compatriot and former protégé of his father, Lorenzo; and he at once set out for Rome. He may have made the acquaintance of the Cardinal de' Medici, the future Leo X., during his captivity at Milan after the battle of Ravenna.?

1 Amoretti, pp. 63, 103. The drawing published by Gerli (pl. xvii.) is not by Leonardo, but by the painter of the altar-piece in the Brera, in which Lodovico Sforza and his family are introduced. It is a study for one of the figures in this picture.

2 Cf. Prato, Archivio storico italiano, vol. iii., p. 297.

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