1796 · Milan
RARE FIRST EDITION, dedicated to Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, of the first book exclusively devoted to the history of the famous fresco called the "Cenacolo", painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan between 1495 and 1498.
The author, the Dominican Domenico Pino, was the prior of the monastery at the time he wrote the book, and had access to the documents of the conventual archive, which later with the arrival in Milan of Napoleon's troops went dispersed.
Pino was charged by a Milanese printer who was about to publish a new guide of Milan, to revise the history of the "Cenacolo" and to collect more information about it. He was then visited by the painter Teodoro Matteini, who had been charged by the Grand Duke Ferdinand III with the task of making a copy of the fresco. The copy was later used by Raffaello Morghen for his engraving of the "Cenacolo". Pino searched in the archive trying to debunk some legends circulating about Leonardo's work with the aim of discrediting the fathers of the convent.
The book represents therefore an important historical source. For example, Pino quotes a document referring to a payment given to Leonardo on June 1497. The text is accompanied by the author's annotations and an extensive index of notable things.
Pino's Storia was a few years later overcome by the monograph of Giuseppe Bossi, who in 1810 published a monumental work on Leonardo's "Cenacolo".
Catalogo unico, IT\ICCU\RMRE\000304; E. Verga, Bibliografia vinciana, Bologna, 1931, no. 271; F. Predari, Bibliografia enciclopedica milanese, Milan, 1857, p. 443. (Inventory #: 34)