Leonardo Da Vinci Collectibles
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was a celebrated Italian painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor and writer. Generally regarded as one of the most multi-talented people in human history, da Vinci was a Renaissance man who combined startling artistic and creative talent with an insightful scientific mind.
This gave him an understanding of the world which was in many cases literally hundreds of years ahead of his time.
Da Vinci’s most famous work is also the most famous painting of all time, the Mona Lisa. Currently on display at the Louvre in Paris, the work was last officially valued in 1962 when it was insured for $100 million. After adjusting for inflation, today this would give it an insurance value of approximately $713 million.
The Louvre is also home to his works ‘The Virgin and Child with St. Anne’ (circa 1508) and the earliest version of ‘The Virgin on the Rocks’ (circa 1483). Many of his other works remain in Italy in the Vatican Museum and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Da Vinci’s painting ‘The Last Supper’ is the most reproduced and imitated religious artwork in history, Painted between 1495 and 1498, the mural is located on the wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
In 2001 a sketch by da Vinci depicting a figure riding a horse (circa 1481 – 1482) was sold at a Christie’s auction in London for £8,143,750.
At a Christies auction in New York in 1994, Bill Gates broke the world record for the most expensive book or manuscript in history when he paid $30,802,500 for da Vinci’s Codex Leicester (also known as the Codex Hammer).
The manuscript consisted of a 72 page document detailing his theories on the movement of water, fossil distribution on mountains and the reflection of light on the Moon. It is the only manuscript by da Vinci to exist in private ownership.
Other notable da Vinci manuscripts include:
- The Codex Arundel, owned by the British Museum and displayed at the British Library
- The 12-volume Codex Atlanticus, owned by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan.
- The Codex Forster, owned and displayed by the Victoria & Albert Museum