Niccoli Machiavelli & Drea DaVinci

Niccoli Machiavelli & Drea DaVinci

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci and Machiavelli planned world domination together around 500 years ago?  

I first met Niccoli Machiavelli through a friend who knew we were both Rennaissance Women, with Niccoli being a Savant Polymath who paints photorealism, and myself, an intentionally untrained modern artist with a penchant for metaphysics, masterminding, and manifesting.  We met up at Summer Moon in Austin, Texas and simultaneously pulled out our yellow legal notepads and matching MacBook Pros (only mine is covered in endless stickers) and hers is pristine, I have tattoos, and she has none. She is wearing white and I am wearing black.  I tell her I go by Drea DaVinci and she tells me she goes by Niccoli Machiavelli.  We pause, we laugh, we know this is not our first rodeo together, and then proceed to  go into business together, collaborate on paintings together, build multiple websites and share various business ventures.  We went directly to work together that day. 

And as they say, the rest is history...

machiavelli and da vinci

DaVinci  & Machiavelli 

Rewind 500 years.  

In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci was working for the military engineer for Cesare Borgia, the conqueror of a good part of Italy, and Niccolo Machiavelli was chancellor and secretary of the Florentine republic.  The meeting of the two during this time was one of the most fateful and enigmatic events in European History. 

Out of their meeting emerged a project which was as momentous as it was daring: In order to defeat the rebellious Pisans, Leonardo was to design a plan of diverting the Arno River and thus deprive Pisa of its life-giving water.  Leonardo and Machiavelli were eminently qualified to take on the plan. Leonardo was fascinated by the idea of civilizing rivers and  Machiavelli was determined to civilize the political world.  The success of the project would ensure not just a seaport for Florence, but wealth and prosperity for Tuscany, and the possibility of a playing a significant role in the conquest of the New World.  

Machiavelli by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo painted a portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli, that matches the description in a letter dated 1874, in the archives of Château de Valençay in central France that describes a portrait on wood measuring 22 by 17 inches. The letter, written by the chateau’s administrator to the building’s owner, the Prince de Talleyrand, reads, “I have had a case containing a panel (Machiavelli painted by Leonardo da Vinci) packed and sent by rail by the porter.” 

Machiavelli by Leonardo da Vinci

The painting depicts a bearded, balding man clad in black. The work is unsigned, but it fits the description of the Leonardo painting owned by the Prince of Talleyrand.  This painting was recently discovered, coming on the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death.   

And the rest, they say, is history.  


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