From New Kerala in India:
Da Vinci‘s mother may have been a Middle Eastern slave
Italian researchers have now claimed to have pieced together evidence from the artist’s work which confirms suspicions that he was the son of his father’s female Arab slave.
The scientists analysed partial fingerprints found on canvases and his notebooks, and compared them to one of the few full fingerprints known to have been da Vinci‘s, which he left on the famous Lady With An Ermine.
Dr Luigi Capasso and his colleagues from the University of Chieti in central Italy discovered that the print matches a pattern commonly found in the Middle East.
“It is actually the first evidence of Leonardo’s corporeality,” Discovery News quoted Capasso as saying.
The painter, engineer, mathematician, philosopher and naturalist was earlier thought to have been the son of an Italian craftsman and a local peasant girl.
The analysis of the fingerprint patterns instead fits a theory unearthed through documentation discovered in 2002 by Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci where the artist was born, that Leonardo’s mother was a slave of Middle Eastern descent.
Analysis of the fingerprint patterns, a science known as dermatoglyphics has shown that there is a link between fingerprints and populations.
“The fingerprint features patterns such as the central whorl that are dominant in the Middle East. About 60 percent of the Middle Eastern population display the same dermatoglyphic structure found in the fingerprint,” Capasso said.
The father of Leonardo da Vinci, Ser Piero, was 25 years old and a public legal representative when Leonardo was born in 1452.
In the same year Ser Piero married his first wife Albiera.
He didn’t marry the mother of Leonardo, because she was the daughter of a farmer and not from a wealthy family.
The mother of Leonardo was called Catarina.
“It was common in 15th century Tuscany to own slaves from the Middle East,” said Vezzosi.
In 1452, the same year of Leonardo’s birth, a law was passed in Florence that gave slave owners greater rights over their slaves.
Shortly after the law was passed, Ser Piero married Caterina off to one of his workers.
Or was Leonardo´s mother a Jewish slave? See here.
Update April 2008: here.
Leonardo and animals: here.
And astronomy: here.
Leonardo’s Last Supper on the Internet: here.