The Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci, passes from Gondi house

Gondi Palace

At the Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere La Colombaria, a conference was held by Prof. Riccardo Fubini and Dr. Massimo Giontella. In the conference were proposed new hypotheses on theAnnunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, now painted at the Uffizi in Florence.

An anticipation of their conclusions was given on this occasion, reserving the right to offer a full picture in a forthcoming publication. The landscape in the background is Otranto, as shown by the geographical similarities and a letter from Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, who claims to have in front of him the map of the city made by Sixtus IV as a liberating attack from Turkish aggression. Therefore, the date of the painting is 1481. 

If Federico was holding the plant of Otranto it is evident that the Florentine Villa in the painting is his Villa di Rusciano in Florence. Federico's involvement with the painting excludes that the main author was Leonardo, since there was never any relationship between the Duke and the artist. In addition to these arguments there is one of a stylistic nature. In fact, the obsessive study of the detail is irreconcilable with Leonardesque doing. Leonardo is certainly present in the painting as an emancipated pupil, but the main artist is Antonio del Pollaiolo, contrary to the official attribution. The painting was an exhortation for Federico to take command of military operations against the Turks. Therefore, the real client was Giuliano Gondi, plenipotentiary in Florence of the Duke of Urbino, at the incitement of the Neapolitan royals to whom Giuliano Gondi was intimately linked. 

The mountain in the background, which had anthropomorphic characteristics before the restoration in 2000, represented the Sybil preaching Frederick's victory: all this did not happen because Sixtus IV, fearing that Frederick would definitively marry the Neapolitan cause, blocked the Duke of Urbino when he had already left for Otranto and was in Recanati. The Villa of Rusciano was bought by GiulianoGondi, as attested by a coat of arms still existing in the villa, the weapons of the people Gondi with an eagle on top. So almost certainly, the Annunciation followed them into the Gondi palace in the city.