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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Three emblems c.1508-10

RCIN 912701

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Each of these emblems has the theme of constancy: a plough; a candle blown by eight winds yet remaining steady; and a waterwheel turning a compass, its needle fixed on a sun or star containing three fleurs-de-lys, a symbol of the French king. Leonardo probably designed the emblems for a courtier in occupied Milan, who wished to express his steadfast loyalty to Louis XII.