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Leonardo da Vinci and Verrazzano’s Royal Discovery of New York (1524-2024): Codex Cèllere Reassessed

In the archive of Verrazzano Castle in Greve in Chianti, Professor Stefaan Missinne, discoverer of the da Vinci Globe dating from 1504, stumbled upon the 500-year-old travel report by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. This led to Windsor Castle, where the only world map dating from c. 1515 portraying an open seaway between Florida, as an island, and Newfoundland, was found among the papers of Leonardo da Vinci. Verrazzano did meet with Magellan in Seville in 1517 prior to his historical departure, but did Leonardo, while living in France between 1516 and 1519, influence his young royal employer and his Tuscan compatriot in any way? Astonishingly, the families of Verrazzano and da Vinci had been neighbors in Florence. In this reassessment of Verrazzano´s travel report, the author offers new evidence on Leonardo and Verrazzano. The Codex Cèllere, at the Pierpont Morgan Library, now takes its rightful place as New York´s literary birth certificate.


Professor Stefaan Missinne received his PhD from the Vienna University of Economics in Austria, in 1990. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and a scholar of the late da Vinci authority Professor Carlo Pedretti. He is a member of several international scientific societies and speaks numerous languages. As an international expert on Leonardo da Vinci, Professor Missinne was a scientific curator for international art exhibitions on Leonardo. He has given lectures in Hamburg, Portland (Maine), Vienna, Oxford, Barcelona, Civitella del Lago, London, Amsterdam, Strasburg, Rome, Arezzo, Florence, Malta, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Graz, at the castle of Giovanni da Verrazzano in Greve in Chianti, at the Archive of the Indies in Seville and at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

"In this must-have book, Professor Stefaan Missinne highlights and defends the Italian discovery on behalf of the French king of the North American coastline and commends Giovanni da Verrazzano as the first and most humanistic discoverer influenced by Leonardo da Vinci's cartography. The research of this well-documented and illustrated new book by Professor Stefaan Missinne was necessary to set a historical record straight, to explain the numerous new findings and puns in Verrazzano's travelogue, and to establish this Italian in the service of the French king, the discovery of the coastline of North America, and the CODEX CELLERE as "America's literary birth certificate". In a world of mediocrity and followership, Missinne provides innovative, insightful, and intelligent new findings and historic commentary which makes this book so very worthwhile!"
James Constable
Italian Renaissance Expert, Cambridge, USA

"In this book, one sails up the coast of America, and ends up in New York, and through this trip and the names of the locations, one gets a perfect picture of all those who stayed at home but made this trip possible. An amazing book."

Dr Kristin De Troyer Vice Rector of the University of Salzburg, Austria

"In his new book, and on the occasion of the quincentenary of the discovery of the American East Coast and New York, Prof. Stefaan Missinne leads the reader through a scientific analysis of the earliest toponomy contained in Verrazzano's 1524 travelogue. Verrazzano's place names, examined here in great detail for the first time, reveal the political, religious and iconographic background of the extraordinary connection between the French court and the Tuscans living in exile in France. Thanks to Verrazzano's travelogue and Leonardo da Vinci's presence in France between 1516 and 1519, the author reveals for the first time the much deeper Renaissance connotations in Verrazzano's choice of toponyms and the family ties between the Benci and the Gondi. This excellent book is highly recommended for any reader interested in early American history."

Marisa Addomine MPhil in History of Science from the The Warburg Institute

"Professor Stefaan Missinne, renowned for his diligent investigative, superb literature research and meticulous scientific analysis, relating to historical artifacts – for example the da Vinci Globe dating from 1504, presents new compelling findings and offers unseen insights in the Early Modern history of America. The List of Figures is systematically presented by the author with brief and succinct commentary for each illustration and source. The author and publisher deserve great congratulations for this excellent work in which no expense has been spared with the generous space given to the many educative illustrations. For the early history of America and for the history of the Italian and French Renaissance, this is an eye-opening and compelling work that fills a literary gap and will transform many history and geography books. This book will appeal to a cross section readership."

Professor Vivian Louis Forbes MPhil, PhD, DLitt, Cartographer, Map Curator and Adjunct Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-0364-0017-4

ISBN13: 978-1-0364-0017-0

Release Date: 14th March 2024

Pages: 174

Price: £71.99

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