Celebrating Leonardo

PARNASSUS by Andrea Mantegna, 1497, Louvre

2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and celebratory events to honour the Italian polymath are planned worldwide. At some time during the year I intend to publish here an analysis of the Parnassus painting by Andrea Mantegna. It reveals some suprising and unknown references to Leonardo. Other contempories of Mantegna are also included in the work.

The Louvre, where the painting is housed, describes the work as the triumph of spiritual over earthly love and the celebration of the Arts at the Court of Mantua. But that’s just at surface level. It is much more than that. The painting was commissioned by Isabella d’Este, marquise of Mantua, and dated at 1497.