Leonardo's Shadow

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Leonardo,s Shadow
On the rooftop of Milan Cathedral, where our story begins...
Leonardo,s Shadow
What is the significance of the medallion...
Leonardo,s Shadow
The ring...
Leonardo,s Shadow
And the cross that Giacomo had in his possession when Leonardo found him?
Leonardo,s Shadow
Italy, 1497. A dozen warring states, and a new threat from outside is soon to come...
Leonardo,s Shadow
The Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. Is he Leonardo’s friend—or enemy?
Leonardo,s Shadow
The Duke of Milan’s Castle. Impregnable, he thought. But was it?
Leonardo,s Shadow
All of Milan is after him for it. So why won’t Leonardo finish the Last Supper?
Leonardo,s Shadow
The beautiful Cecilia Gallerani. What was her true relationship to Leonardo?
Leonardo,s Shadow
Lucrezia Crivelli, the Duke’s mistress. What does Leonardo have that she wants?
Leonardo,s Shadow
There are certain persons engaged in practices forbidden by the Duke on pain of death
Leonardo,s Shadow
The secret arrival in Milan of a powerful stranger
Leonardo,s Shadow
What did Pope Alexander have to say about one of Leonardo’s greatest inventions?
Leonardo,s Shadow
flying machine
The Book
Milan, 1497. The height of the Renaissance. And for young Giacomo, servant to the famous Leonardo da Vinci, it’s the most difficult time of all. His master has been working on the Last Supper, his greatest painting ever, for the past two years. But has he finished it? He’s barely started! And the all-powerful Duke of Milan is after the artist to have it done by the time of the Pope’s visit next Easter. If Leonardo won’t hurry up, however, there’s a rumor that a young genius — Michelangelo — may be invited to finish it instead...   view more...
The story behind Leonardo's Shadow
It was a chilly morning in December 1992 when I first entered the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. At that time the Last Supper was not the packed tourist hangout that it is today. I cannot even recall having to pay for a ticket, but I must have done. Nowadays you have to book months in advance.

I went inside. Hard to believe, but there was no one else there. I was entirely alone. I walked slowly towards the Last Supper. Some of it was covered in plastic sheeting. There was scaffolding to the sides. Perhaps they had already started the renovation that was finally completed in 1999. In any case, the painting was in a very poor state of repair. Much of it was a stained blur. And yet I could see the face of Christ...   view more...
- Christopher Grey