‘Our’ Leonardo Da Vinci
– The book Leonardo Da Vinci: A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy by Angelo Paratico, Lascar Publishing HK, for which there are reservations from several countries in the world;
– The new podcast Good Mo(u)rning, Italy, by Pietro Pàncamo – our radio is becoming very popular and Pietro is going to open a very interesting front!;
– The documentary movie on Father Nicosia, the angel of the lepers – which will be ready in May.
About the international literary prize, which is the fourth strategic project, I’m going to write in the next article.
And other ideas are in the pipeline, do you doubt that?
But now, let me be very proud about Leonardo Da Vinci: A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy, because I immodestly think that Beyond Thirty-Nine was the right environment for Angelo to reach this stage and this incredible achievement. We are respecting our mission: we want to be a strong e peculiar springboard, independent and international, which can combine and involve different cultural disciplines and topics. Speaking about literature and history, we want to publish many books, but at the same time we are open and happy if other publishers offer a greater platform and more choices and worldwide possibilities.
Angelo published many books and was famous before the foundation of Beyond Thirty-Nine, of course. However, I think that the hard work to create and develop B39 was and is very important to him: the setting, the conditions and the atmosphere in which an author can express himself have a great significance and value.
Now, our goal is to raise a group of good writers, who can follow Angelo’s example in the international stage. So, please, stay tuned to B39.
I’d like to present Leonardo Da Vinci: A Chinese Scholar Lost in Renaissance Italy as a journey, a long path of discoveries. After several years of research, in fact, Angelo Paratico reached an astonishing yet very logical conviction: Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a Chinese slave, Caterina.
So the book is the story of this historical investigation first, which step by step reveals the mystery of Leonardo’s life as if it were a modern thriller.
The discovery of new pieces of evidence in the state archives of Florence and the rereading of ancient documents from around the world, was a compelling process that brings to light what has been hidden from our eyes, in spite of the ten thousand pages of Leonardo’s notebooks in our possessions.
New perspectives have emerged, which eventually explained the reasons for the oddities, omissions and reluctance that have accompanied Leonardo’s previous biographies.
According to Angelo, Caterina was very young when she was captured by Mongol raiders and then spirited out of China to Crimea, from where she was shipped to Venice’s slave market. She was then sold to the agent of a wealthy Florentine usurer, Ser Vanni, a client of Leonardo’s father. At that time, oriental slaves were a common sight all over Tuscany. Most were categorised as Tartars, a generic term used for all Eastern people under Mongol domination, including the Chinese.
Even Ginevra Datini, the beloved daughter of the quintessential Renaissance merchant Francesco Datini (1335–1410), was born to a Tartar domestic slave, a young Mongolian lady named Lucia, who was working in the merchant’s house. This surprising fact would never have come to light without the fortuitous find, in the 19th Century, of a treasure trove of Datini’s letters hidden in a secret partition of his palace in Prato, close to Florence.
The book analyses and discusses Leonardo’s oriental roots using all the evidence available: he was left handed and was in the habit of beginning his notebooks from the last page; he was a vegetarian; he had an almost Buddhist outlook on the world; his paintings show landscapes that are clearly derived from Chinese painters who had used them centuries earlier, etc.
And the book proves – as Sigmund Freud in 1910 had already understood – that Leonardo’s painting of Mona Lisa in the Louvre, the most famous painting in the world, is actually the dreamlike image of Caterina, Leonardo’s Chinese mother. The only woman he ever loved.
Of course Beyond Thirty-Nine will be in the first row to follow interviews and debates to provide strength to the further deepening and broadening of Leonardo’s knowledge.
In the meantime, however, we will push all the other projects with the same passion and determination. All the best.