After all, Leonardo da Vinci’s mother may not have been a peasant woman. Tuscanybut a Circassian slave, an ethnic group originally from the North Caucasus region.
The discovery, announced to the press this Tuesday, was made by Carlo Vecce, a professor at the University of Naples. Following a documentary and archaeological investigation, based mainly on the municipal archives of the city of Florence, Vecce concluded that Leonardo da Vinci’s mother was taken by force from the Caucasus mountains, “sold and resold several times in Constantinople, and later in Venice, before arriving in Florence”, the researcher told Agence France-Presse during the launch session of his new book, Caterina’s Smilea novel built around this investigation.
In Florence, Caterina would have met a young notary, Piero, the father of the author of Mona Lisa. The investigator found a “legal” document signed by the notary, dated 1452 (the year Leonardo was born), in which he defended Caterina’s “emancipation” and “liberation”, so that she could “recover her dignity”. .
According to Carlo Vecce, in Florence during the medieval period, it was common for merchants to buy and sell young women to serve as wet nurses, caregivers and sex slaves. Caterina will have been bought by Donato di Filippo di Salvestroc Nati, an “old Florentine adventurer”, says the Spanish daily El País, who owned slaves from the Ancient East and the Black Sea region.
Vecce believes that the journey and life of Leonardo da Vinci’s mother influenced the work developed by the Italian painter and master of the Renaissance: “Caterina left Leonardo a great legacy and, certainly, the spirit of freedom, which inspires all of his intellectual work. and scientific.”