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Leonardo da Vinci. First draft letter


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Two Draft Letters

Only a few letters by Leonardo have survived, among them the early “job application” to Ludovico Sforza

(67 ) und the draft letters shown here about the implementation of Leonardo’s royal privilege to take water from a Milan canal. The earlier collection fol. 1037v contains three letters on this matter addressed to various persons including Milan’s governor, Charles d’Amboise (center). This delicate balancing act between respectfulness and pragmatic goals, which includes strategic references to the painting Leonardo had just completed for the French king, appears in fol. 872r, reworked as a clean copy. The fact that Leonardo, who usually seemed so self-confident as an artist and scholar, made several drafts of a letter reveals his latent uncertainty about letter-writing. Leonardo tried to compensate for this by acquiring collections of model letters called Epistolari (43 ), written by authors with exemplary rhetorical skills.



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    ———. 2019b. Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered. Bd. 4: Scholarly Apparatus to Volumes one, two, and three. 4 Bde. New Haven / London: Yale University Press, 362, Anm. 36.

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