The Da Vinci Globe – An Update

Professor Stefaan Missinne has made his debut on the Iberian Peninsula with a presentation and lecture at the University of Barcelona on May 29th 2019. Stefaan was promoting his book, The Da Vinci Globe.

Stefaan’s impressive presentation and lecture has inspired two articles to be written about it – one from Italian outfit, Ansa Latina, available to read here – and one from the Argentinian paper, El Intransigente, which can be found here. It is safe to say that The Da Vinci Globe has a truly global appeal.

This book brings the reader through a fabulous journey of scholars, maps, riddles, rebuses, iconographic symbols and enigmatic phrases such as HIC SVNT DRACONES to illuminate the da Vinci globe. It details 500 years of mystery, fine scholarship and expert forensic testing at numerous material science laboratories the world over.

The globe is hand-engraved in great detail on ostrich egg shells from Pavia by a left-handed Renaissance genius of unquestionable quality. It shows secret knowledge of the map world from the time of Columbus, Cabral, Amerigo Vespucci and Leonardo da Vinci. Central and North America are covered by a vast ocean. The da Vinci globe originates from Florence and dates from 1504. It marks the first time ever that the names of countries such as Brazil, Germania, Arabia and Judea have appeared on a globe.

The da Vinci globe now takes its rightful place, surpassing the Lenox globe, its copper-cast identical twin, as the most mysterious globe of our time. As such, this monograph is an essential text in Leonardo studies and in the history of cartography.

Stefaan Missine Barcelona
Stefaan Missine at the University of Barcelona – Image from Dr. Barbara Polo Martin

The Da Vinci Globe has also been subject to a glowing review recently from Vivian Louis Forbes (Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia) in The Globe (No. 85, 2019):

“This volume is an academic/scholarly masterpiece… It may also be considered a reference book on just one of the extensive and diversified talents of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). The book is expansively illustrated with over 400 maps, sketches, photographic reproductions of places, landscapes and artefacts. The author, a student of the late Italian historian Professor Carlo Pedretti – an expert on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci – devoted nearly seven years to produce this magnificent volume, which is fact-filled and focuses on a single small globe: a globe measuring 112 millimetres in diameter, and which was crafted in about the year 1504 from the bottom halves of two ostrich eggs… Missinne took all necessary steps to have the globe scientifically analysed to confirm its originality and authenticity. The OEG was assessed and examined by more than 100 experts in cartography, history and the sciences. To prove that it was authentic the globe was tested in at least nine scientific laboratories throughout Europe… The globe was hand-engraved in great detail on two halves of ostrich egg shells that were sourced from Pavia, Italy, where an ostrich breeding place (Struzzeria) was located in the vicinity of the garden of the Visconti of Milan. The Struzzeria was the only known European source for unhatched ostrich eggs in the 14th and 15th centuries… In the words of da Vinci, a pre-modern artist: “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world” (p. 120)… Da Vinci’s aim was “to create an unprecedented three-dimensional miniature object, combined with imagination and precision” (p. 137)… Missinne states that the “most far-reaching conclusions are the chemical and mathematical ones, in that order” (p. 261) which he terms the ‘artistic forensics’ necessary to scrutinise the authorship of a work of art. A summary of the culminating material evidence based on the scientific examination of the different layers of meaning so typical of Leonardo’s creativity appears in Appendix I… The use of light and shade (chiaroscuro) in Leonardo’s drawing and painting is evident in the bathymetric and topographic features depicted on the globe… The iconographical evidence is quite a revelation. This volume will be welcomed by scholars of archival research, art, cartography, geography, history, spatial sciences, natural and physical sciences and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of personal and public libraries.”


Further, to see The Da Vinci Globe‘s Wikipedia page please click here.

To view a thirty page extract of The Da Vinci Globe, and to buy the book please click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s