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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Three emblems c.1506-10

RCIN 912701

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As a court artist to the French occupiers of Milan, Leonardo designed several personal emblems on the theme of constancy. The top emblem here depicts a plough with the words hostinato rigore (‘obstinate rigour’). The next shows a compass set upon a continuously turning waterwheel, its needle however remaining fixed upon a star. The final emblem shows a candle in a lantern remaining alight despite being blown from all directions.