giovedì 19 settembre 2013

America in a painting from 1451

A painting by Piero della Francesca, dated 1451 and located in the Malatesta Temple (Tempio Malatestiano) in Rimini, represents without a doubt the coasts of the North American continent.
By Riccardo Magnani
The Malatesta Temple in Rimini is the main church of the city and for this reason it is usually indicated by the citizens as the Duomo, the Cathedral. Completely renovated starting from 1447 with the contribution of artists such as Leon Battista Alberti, Matteo de' Pasti, Agostino di Duccio and Piero della Francesca, though not complete, it is the key work of the Renaissance of Rimini and one of the most significant architectures of the Italian 15th century
Under the lordship of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, it was immediately decided to build a chapel dedicated to St. Sigismund, namesake saint as well as patron of the customer, at first assigning the project to Matteo de' Pasti from Verona, only to entrust the remaining restoration to the highest-rated artist Leon Battista Alberti.
It is not my intention here to make an analysis of the Temple. Instead, I want to bring attention to something very significant in order to define, or rather we should say re-define, much of our history and those events that have characterized it. I am referring to a painting by Piero della Francesca located in the latter part of the Temple, which is precisely characterized by the actions of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.
Herein lies the fresco made by Piero della Francesca in 1451, which in the opinion of biographers and academics portrays Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta praying to Saint Sigismund. In this painting, "the glorification of the customer is at the peak, the religious theme intertwines with dynastic and political aspects, as in the features of St. Sigismund hiding those of the Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, who, investing the Malatesta as a knight in 1433, legitimized his dynastic succession, and ratified his seizure of power" (De Vecchi-Cerchiari)... 

In the course of my studies in relation to the Italian Renaissance, triggered by the attempt experienced by Cosimo de' Medici to reunify the Western and Eastern Church through the council held in 1438-1439 in Florence, documented by Benozzo Gozzoli in the paintings of Palazzo Medici-Ricciardi in Florence, I have found several anomalies in relation to the today officially acknowledged reconstructions, to the point of completely change the mapping of the works of art and some events which would have later taken a role of absolute importance historically and politically. Such as the discovery of America, which is officially traced back, as we all know, to October 12 1492; interestingly this date coincides with the date on which the author of this painting, Piero della Francesca, dies at Borgo San Sepolcro.

With regard to all the anomalies that I noticed and previously mentioned, please refer to the three publications that I'm editing. In the very case of my article, instead, I want to bring attention on what this painting by Piero della Francesca represents, which is a depiction of the North America exactly 41 years before the official discovery of the new continent attributed to Christopher Columbus (on whose identity I have already publicly debated for a long time, therefore I prefer not to add anything more, because of the total irrelevance of the circumstance after what I'm going to motivate here).

The statement above, i.e. this painting "is a depiction of North America exactly 41 years before the official discovery attributed to Christopher Columbus", can be easily verified observationing and comparisoning the lands emerged on our planet at the present date in correspondence of the North America, as shown in the picture:
It is useless to bore you with a detailed narrative of single localities to be found in the painting from Rimini, I will just emphasize that there is only one territory enclosed between the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico in the south, and the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the north, and it's called North America.
Officially discovered the October 12 1492 by Christopher Columbus, at least so we read in history books; as demonstrated in this occasion America was already known since the days when, in 1451, Piero della Francesca was called to decorate the walls of the Malatesta Temple of Rimini.
Looking at the painting, to the left of a respectful Pandolfo Sigismondo Malatesta, instead of Sigismund of Hungary we find Georgius Gemistus Pletho, who in 1438 led the retinue of philosophers, mathematicians and astronomers who accompanied John VII Palaiologos to the Council of Florence, bringing with him, at this point with almost indisputable certainty, astronomical and geographical maps of absolute importance referring to the pre-Christian world of the Byzantine Empire of which the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was the greatest witness, often ferociously and severely threatened and definitely destroyed in the early centuries after Christ, due also to the edicts of Constantine resulting from the Council of Nicaea in 325 B.C.
I won’t write here about the role of Gemistus Pletho, often confused in the interpretations of the scholars with other characters, sometimes imaginary, as in the case of Hermes Trismegistus, depicted in the Duomo in Siena and sometimes together with real characters, such as even Leonardo da Vinci (my main study peculiarity) in the painting by Raffaello in the Vatican Museums, the School of Athens, what is universally considered to be Leonardo da Vinci, represented by Raffaello in the shoes of Plato with the Timaeus underarm, it is actually once again Gemistus Pletho who discusses Basil Bessarion, who was also in the retinue of John VII Palaeologus during the Council of Florence.
In 1439 Pletho wrote on the difference between the Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, which gave birth to a strong controversy among the Platonists, supported also by Basilius Bessarion, and the Aristotelians. The contrast concerned on the idea that it was possible, following the Plato's conception, a possible unification of the different religions.
In the Platonic philosophy, heir to the Zoroastrian, according to Pletho was traced the model of an ideal society based on theocentric worship of the sun god, and Raffaello clearly emphasizes this episode.
I have to make clear in order to better understand the synthesis that makes up this piece of writing. Most of the Renaissance artists, as well as being great painters were themselves the chroniclers of the time they were living in. Through their works, therefore, they testified the life of every day, even more so when there were political and ideological conflicts such as those that strongly characterize this historical period of time of the utmost importance, if only because of the fact that then was thrown and cultivated, the seed that created the current economic and political situation (of course I would insert the spiritual power represented by every religion in the political characterization, for obvious reasons). For this reason, and precisely by virtue of other representations of Gemistus Pletho by other artists than those mentioned, I dare to make such a statement.
Precisely because of this, through his most famous painting, namely The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli gives us once again a representation of America as it was before the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Indeed, in contrast to what Piero della Francesca does, and definitely with less accuracy and precision through the use of the characters depicted and their clothing, Botticelli inserted in his work the entire representation of the globe in a sort of very simplified map of the world, but unmistakable in the subject depicted as you can see from the details brought to your attention below, and in comparison to the first representation of America unanimously recognized, the Waldseemuller world map dated 1507, which is in turn anachronistic in relation to the official dates of the geographic discoveries of the new continent, with the western coasts of South America drawn too precisely, compared to the circumnavigation of Ferdinand Magellan in 1522.
In the painting by Botticelli, the red veil of the woman on the right depicts the North America in the part toward the Venus, while represents Asia in the right part of the painting. In turn, the Venus depicts the South America, and the Syzygy to the left, the androgyne, the Rebis who blows the Vital Spirit is, upside down, the Terra Australis which is present in all the papers of the first years after the discovery of the new continent. Thus, the insufflated spirit assumes the right direction with which the trade winds blew, becoming fundamental to make possible to the first navigators to reach the shores of the Atlantic Ocean opposed to the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.
After what I have just proposed it won’t be complicated to understand how Leonardo da Vinci himself was aware of these cartographic aspects, since he was raised under the protective wing of Gemistus Pletho, Marsilio Ficino and all the neoplatonic Academy, since he was young. Nor it will be risky to think of geographical knowledge in the field of cartography, where Leonardo himself expressly complained the restitution of one of his globes, to the father of Ginevra Benci, portrayed between 1474 and 1480. After all, Bramante, in a famous painting from 1477 (Heraclitus and Democritus), retracts himself with Leonardo da Vinci and a globe between them.
For this reason, and as a result of the findings of my studies, which I omit here for obvious reasons, but that lead to the identification of a whole hall painted by Leonardo between 1459 and 1469, I refer you back to the observation of the planisphere described by Botticelli in his work in comparison with the map of the world of Leonardo da Vinci, stored at Palazzo Besta in Teglio, Valtellina, reproposed below, where you can appreciate the combination with Terra Australis, designed in the bottom of the map of the world and bearing the inscription "Terra Australis anno 1459 sed nondum plena cognita".
A further curiosity about these events comes from the fact that the father of Ginevra Benci was called Giovanni di Amerigo, and the name of her brother was Amerigo. Quickly He became director of the Geneva branch of the Medici Bank and partner in place of his father, Amerigo had here the opportunity to work closely with Francesco Sassetti, the one who, together with Poggio Bracciolini, in 1459 accompanied to Milan (and presumably then to Teglio in Valtellina), a young Leonardo da Vinci.

This is confirmed by three paintings: the first is a painting in which a young Leonardo is depicted in the only fresco remaining in the headquarter of the building of Banco Mediceo in Milan while reading Cicero, and in the remaining two, both by Ghirlandaio, the young Leonardo is portrayed once alongside Francesco Sassetti and in the other at the side of Poggio Bracciolini, and always with the city of Lecco in the background.
I will not go into further depth to the events here reconstructed, although the material doesn’t miss but rather abounds, and this circumstance, combined with the unbridled passion which literally kidnapped me, would drive me every time to write poems, thus I decided to entrust this task to exhaustive publications about this. But I want to add as remark to this short article a further element, in which is revealed in a completely non-incidental way the fact that in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the hands of the representatives who participated in the Council of Florence in 1438, were available very detailed information on the existence and location of the American continent in the centre of the Pacific Ocean.
If that was not enough to constitute extraordinary news that alone would undermine the fragility of the scaffolding on which is built the mendacious reconstruction of the discovery of America by a nonexistent Christopher Columbus, let’s add the representative meticulousness with which Piero della Francesca depicts the North American coastline, as if he had access to highly accurate maps to navigate and play, to the point to even hypothesize satellite views, such is the precision of the expressed tract.
When in 2010 for the first time, through my own publication titled Anamorphosis, I hypothesized the Leonardo's authorship of the planisphere of Palazzo Besta in Teglio which I illustrated previously, I underlined its accuracy saying something that to most people could have seemed totally out of place: "This is a photographic satellite representation of the Earth as it emerged after the Flood".
Not a short time ago it struck me to find a drawing of Athanasius Kircher depicting a world map on which staked an inscription: “GEOGRAPHIA CONJECTURALIS DE ORBIS TERRESTRIS POST DILUVIUM”, where it seems that the Jesuit wanted to put in graphical comparison the land surface after the flood and the emerged lands as they were before the flood.
So here it is how this definition may appear even more centered looking at the representation of America offered to us by Piero della Francesca compared to the itself extraordinary fact that he represents the North American continent in 1451.

In fact, looking carefully at the picture of the fresco we can see that in the center of Florida is depicted the Lake Okeechobee, perfectly located in the position where it really is as we can easily verify using Google Earth images.

Comparing the images, I think it is clear enough that we're not talking about a stain of saltpetre or a piece of plaster maybe detached from the moisture (usually these are the sterile oppositions which are made in such cases by those who tend to defend the dogmatic academic scaffolding).
Looking back to the world map of Kircher, therefore, it would seem that he wants to represent both the underwater and emerged lands after the flood. This is not trivial, as it tells us that likely in certain circles of the time there were, and maybe even today there are still around, arrays of the maps that could plainly see Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci and all those who, before of the smoky story of the discovery of America by the hand of Christopher Columbus, had a chance to read.
At this point, as it is in my style (which is precisely of the one who wants to stimulate a discussion through a provocation although documental and in no fanciful way), I would anticipate something else about these events, waiting to develop it fully into a literary work. In the painting by Piero della Francesca, Pandolfo Sigismondo Malatesta is accompanied by two greyhounds, one white and one black. At the moment it is not given to ascertain if they were his dogs or if it alludes to other kind of symbological reference.
There is however something curious and interesting that ties once again to America, Piero della Francesca and Botticelli: Nastagio degli Onesti.

Nastagio degli Onesti is the protagonist of a novel of the Fifth day of the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, dedicated to love affairs at first contrasted and then successfully concluded. The story of Nastagio degli Onesti was illustrated by Sandro Botticelli in 1483 on commission of Lorenzo the Magnificent to make a bridal gift to Giannozzo Pucci and Lucrezia Bini: The four tablets are now dispersed between Madrid and Florence.

At this point we have an infinite series of curiosities that might be worth to list:
  • The Venus is the same as the representation of the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, namely Simonetta Cattaneo, daughter of Genoese bankers, who married Marco Vespucci
  • The Venus is being chased by a knight (Giuliano de' Medici) and while she is being bitten and then caught by two dogs, greyhounds, one white and one black, just like those of Pandolfo Sigismondo Malatesta
  • The Venus is stabbed in the back, while Giuliano de' Medici pulls the knife out from her back and Lorenzo de' Medici escapes, it would seem so much the representation of something longed, subtracted by deception, in consequence of which the image of Julian recalls a stabbing behind and Lorenzo saves himself running away: it would seem the Congiura de' Pazzi (Pazzi conspiracy), it's really curious, as a consequence of a trip with three caravels, the same that you can see behind the first and third representation.
But we're not finished here with curiosities: guess what it was called the father of Amerigo Vespucci?
His name was Nastagio!
And you know how they were called the three sisters of Lorenzo de' Medici, called the Magnificent?
Nannina, called Nina, Bianca, simply called the Pinta, because of the privilege of a couple of paintings in which Botticelli painted her and Maria (and the word “painted” in Italian is said “pinta” female, singular), the mother of Luigi de' Rossi, faithful cardinal of Pope Leo X (and for this reason called Santa).
Do not think it's over.
We were saying of Bianca, called the Pinta. Do you know who she was married with? She was married with Guglielmo de' Pazzi, in 1459, who by virtue of his kinship with the Medici allowed the rest of the family to approach to Giuliano and Lorenzo de' Medici and to hit them by treachery.
A last indication, arising from the observation of these four paintings, is related to the harbour where the caravels are made sail away in the first painting, which precedes the attack to Giuliano, thus, it describes a trip anterior to 1476: Portovenere. 

I remember that Simonetta Cattaneo, married to Marco Vespucci behest of her father Piero, but deeply courted by Giuliano de' Medici for her absolute beauty, came from exactly Fezzano di Portovenere.

So I think we can finally say, after what has been written and shown, that Piero della Francesca painted in 1451 the first modern representation of the American continent, albeit in reference to a very ancient period, earlier than the mythological Great Flood (which at this point cannot be so much mythological, also in virtue of the representative punctuality of the painting).

I have already widely discussed elsewhere, of the world map of Leonardo da Vinci, and I'll be back on it very soon.
With regard to Botticelli, instead, I can say that not only he gives us, through the Birth of Venus, a map of the world anterior the supposed discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, but through the pictorial representation of a novella of Boccaccio's Decameron he reveals also the back-story behind the betrayal against the family de 'Medici, in all probability by part the families Vespucci, Cattaneo and de' Pazzi.
At this point you'll wonder what else I can submit to create an additional separating gap between what is written in history books and what emerges clearer and clearer, to be the real course of events. Here then the character enters the scene who you’d never expect to see in a painting, dating from 1459, being impossible any direct knowledge, and who perhaps makes it less incomprehensible the writing affixed under the world map of Palazzo Besta, painted by Leonardo da Vinci: Terra Australis anno 1459 sed nondum plena cognita, which curiously will become "recenter invents" (i.e., recently discovered) in the world maps of the sixteenth century.
Let’s talk about the Magi Chapel, a famous cycle of frescoes housed in Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. Located on the main floor of the building, this cycle of frescoes was one of the first decorations executed after the completion of the building by Michelozzo, it is the masterpiece of the Florentine Benozzo Gozzoli, a pupil of Fra Angelico. This small space constituted the private family chapel and was built in 1459. In the three main walls is depicted the Procession of the Magi, which is the pretext stage to represent a specific political subject that gave prestige to the family of the Medici, i.e. the procession of personalities who came to Florence from Ferrara in occasion of the Council of 1438-1439, according to that chronicler mode of the Renaissance artists which I referred several times to.
It was on this occasion that the Medici family had the honor of chairing the attempt of reunification between the Latin and the Byzantine church. However, this agreement remained only on paper because the Catholic Church didn’t accept to grant an equal role to the Byzantine church, effectively bringing to the final fall of Constantinople in 1453 without any real help from the Pope and the western lords.

For the first time in this cycle of frescoes appears a very young Leonardo da Vinci, portrayed in an ideal handover between him and Gemisto Pletho, behind whom he is hidden.

In the ideal development which relate the paintings to one another we can find, in opposing situations and with the same headgears, the three sisters de' Medici (of whom I have just written regarding the name of the three Caravels), daughters of Piero the Gouty, on the one hand, and combined with the usual schematic representation of the North American continent (with the Gulf of Mexico near the plant on the right), we find a character who at the time when this painting was done, should not even fall within the imagination of anyone: an Indio!
As previously done, let me make a couple of considerations as a corollary of the latter image:
  • Almost hidden by the Indio we can find Gemistus Pletho, as if to indicate who is behind this unexpected presence
  • The first personage to the left in the top row is Vlad III of Wallachia, the famous Count Dracula of Bram Stoker's novel
Needless to say, this is not the significant news, but the fact that Vlad III, like his father Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, created in 1408 by the Emperor Sigismund, King of Hungary, which recalls Pandolfo Sigismondo Malatesta and the painting where appears in the map of North America that I described. Like Pandolfo Sigismondo, Vlad III strove against the Turks to protect the Christendom, and in Buda he met Matthias Corvinus, the future King of Hungary, holder of a map dated 1470 that I have not yet been able to analyze properly.
In the painting of Benozzo Gozzoli, the depicted Indio shows at least unusual somatic characteristics, compared to all the other characters, among whom there are undoubtedly Eastern and African characters. Being in front of a character with Amerindian traits certainly awakens more than a curiosity, confirmed by the analysis of the headgear that distinguishes him and from what you can read concerning the Inca people's hierarchies .
The supreme Inca, said Inca Qhapaq, or the absolute lord, also enjoyed other titles. His subjects were used to address him as Sapa Inca, unique sir, but also as ”Intip Churin“, son of the Sun, or ”Guaccha Cconcha“, protector of the poor. His insignia was the ”mascapaicha“, a headband that encircled his forehead, surmounted by llautu, a fringe of red strings surrounded with gold, that hung on his forehead and with his head adorned by three black feathers of the sacred bird, Curiquingue, which only he could wear.
Still it is not the single maps that appear here and there to amaze me. It’s clear that with the flow of books and ancient papers brought from Byzantium, some ancient pilot books could have reached the Italian cartographers and mathematicians gathered in Florence at the Council. 
Instead, what wakes me infinite astonishment is to observe, in 1459, the portrait of an Indio of high lineage, and the fact that his features are so similar to those of Pachacutec, the founder of the Inca Empire who helped to unify into a single domain different countries of South America, and the similarity between this extraordinary Emperor and Vlad III, who seems to have acquired his habits and customs as a result of this trip, including the habit of impaling his enemies.
It is not inconceivable then to assume that before the trip to which Botticelli alludes in his paintings, which sees the Medici family somehow cheated out of the discovery of the new continent, a survey trip had been made before. Most likely, the painting by Piero della Francesca makes reference to this trip, conceived with the blessing and the papers provided by Gemistus Pletho and sponsored by the family de 'Medici. 
As earlier mentioned, if Renaissance artists acted as chroniclers of their times, by inserting elements of chronicle into their paintings, then we can assume that the journey also involved Pope Nicholas V, who made the naval Vatican fleets available. From a practical and material point of view were involved Vlad III and Pandolfo Sigismondo Malatesta, while there was Ciriaco Ancona leading the expedition, known as the first real archaeologist in modern history, and portrayed by Benozzo Gozzoli just beside the Indio.
Author of countless journeys, I like to remember the significant words with which Leonardo Aretino describes the activities of Cyriacus of Ancona, You will endure seas and winds, and the fury of the storms to accumulate the greatest riches, but you won't be looking for gems, nor the gold with the colour of the sun. Thirsty you will search for the lost antiquities, and thoughtfully contemplate the wonders of the pyramids and read unknown writings similar to figures of wild beasts.

In the light of these discoveries perhaps the words of Aretino will now take on a different meaning, and maybe they don’t relate to Egypt but rather precisely to Peru. In this case, it is presumable that for the occasion it was decided to reach America navigating toward East, thus arriving on the Mesoamerican west coast, from which it was definitely easier to reach Peru than through a harbor in the Caribbean. This element would make reasonable the presence of Pachacutec, the most famous of the Inca emperors, died in 1460, in the painting by Benozzo Gozzoli.

So at that point, what the architects of that first survey trip met determined the thirst of conquest that unleashed everything that happened as a result: conspiracies, inquisitions, fantasy characters, and all that you already know and which is written in history books. That would explain why in the first years after the discovery of America, it was established a true direct line between Peru and Seville, otherwise difficult to understand.
Now please do not ask me to explain why in the fulfillment of this path, which was born three years ago studying the world map of Palazzo Besta and attributing it to Leonardo da Vinci in the absolute negation of whatever academic attribution, I came to discover in Peru Paititi, i.e. the El Dorado described by the Spanish Conquistadores, perhaps the reason for such an alacrity and what regulate today’s socio-political and economic structures of the world.
As Lin Yu-T'ang wrote: "A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going."
For further investigation, please refer to the website that describes this other discovery:
For further deepen:
And this is only a small preview of all that I have been able to rebuild and that, remember, does not pertain only to the curiosities of the past history, but they have represented milestones in the construction of the political-economic-religious structure which now governs, or rather I should say which is sending to hell, the whole world.
It is said that a good historian cannot change the course of history, and this is very true, but only by knowing our past, we can interpret the present.
“Those who dance are considered insane 
by those who can’t hear the music”

Lago di Lecco, September 10 2013.
 Riccardo Magnani in Palazzo Besta between the paintings of Leonardo who he discovered.

Translated by Giovanni Moretti
(To be continued ... )

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