7. Da Vinci discoveries

7. Da Vinci discoveries - articles & prints in Art Library, Sforza Castle, Milan

Charlie worked for a summer in a factory in Milan, Italy near the Naviglio Grande. It was taught in school, and locals always said, "Leonardo made these canals." In reality the canals evolved from Roman times, and Leonardo supervised them while serving as Ducal Engineer.

With the encouragement and hospitality of friends, Charlie traced the Milanese canal system on foot. The Raccolta Vinciana, which publishes Vincian studies every other year, printed two articles of his research.

In the first article Charlie located irrigation outlets on the Naviglio Grande, cited in Leonardo's will. While regulating water levels, Leonardo invented a system of measuring water flow and so derived income from the water tax. Charlie compared his photographs of the location with historical art of the vicinity.

For the second article, Charlie walked in Leonardo's footsteps around a ring of canals long since covered. He verified Leonardo's measurements and collated the information graphically on a modern map. After examining the original document, Charlie concluded that Leonardo began making a city map on a 1 to 10,000 scale, not merely a diagram of the canal system.

A bottom right, the close-up detail of an ancient print reveals Leonardo showing a plan of the canals, similar to the diagrams at the top of the page. That print honors Leonardo's work on the Conca dell'Incoronata, a lock on the Martesana canal. The corresponding photo at lower left shows remains of that lock.

Charlie's large-format landscape prints of the Milanese canals, as they appear today, reside in the Art Library of the Sforza Castle.

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