Conférence : Stefaan Missinne, “Il Mappamondo di Leonardo da Vinci del 1504”, Florence, Université de Florence, 21 novembre 2019, 17h
Professor Stefaan Missinne received his PhD from the Economics University in Vienna in 1990. He is Laureate of the Prince Albert Foundation and Managing Director of the Ginkgo GmbH. As a collector of antique maps, globes, old paintings and art chamber objects, he was a scholar of the Viennese art expert, Count Eugen von Philippovich. He is a member of the International Map Collectors’ Society, the Washington Map Society, the International Coronelli Society for Research on Globes and Scientific Instruments, the Leonardo da Vinci Society, the International Society for the History of the Map and the Austrian Society for the History of Science. His publications include “A Newly Discovered Early Sixteenth-Century Globe Engraved on an Ostrich Egg: The Earliest Surviving Globe Showing the New World 1504”, “America’s Birth Certificate: The Oldest Globular World Map: c. 1507”, and, with Dr Geert Verhoeven, “Unfolding Leonardo da Vinci’s Globe (AD 1504) to Reveal Its Historical Map”. Professor Missinne is an esteemed scholar of the late leading da Vinci authority Carlo Pedretti, who is honoured in the quality and scope of the research in this book.
A chance discovery at a distinguished London map fair in 2012 by a Belgian globe collector produced the most unique of finds: a distinct globe with mysterious images, such as old ships, sailors, a volcano, a hybrid monster, pentimenti, waving patterns, conic individualised mountains, curving rivers, vigorous coastal lines, chiaroscuro and an unresolved triangular anagram, which remains an enigma.
The globe is hand-engraved in great detail on ostrich egg shells from Pavia by a left-handed Renaissance genius of unquestionable quality. It shows secret knowledge of the map world from the time of Columbus, Cabral, Amerigo Vespucci and Leonardo da Vinci. Central and North America are covered by a vast ocean. The da Vinci globe originates from Florence and dates from 1504. It marks the first time ever that the names of countries such as Brazil, Germania, Arabia and Judea have appeared on a globe.
A Leonardo drawing for this globe, showing the coast of the New World and Africa has been discovered in the British Library.
This book brings the reader through a fabulous journey of scholars, maps, riddles, rebuses, iconographic symbols and enigmatic phrases such as HIC SVNT DRACONES to illuminate the da Vinci globe. It details 500 years of mystery, fine scholarship and expert forensic testing at numerous material science laboratories the world over.
The da Vinci globe now takes its rightful place, surpassing the Lenox globe, its copper-cast identical twin, as the most mysterious globe of our time. As such, this monograph is an essential text in Leonardo studies and in the history of cartography.