Reactor

Get This Season’s It Bag, Courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci

by Alexander Cavaluzzo on January 19, 2012

A view of the Leonardo purse (above) and a reproduction of the artist's original sketch (below) (all images via funstuffcafe.com)

Painter, sculptor, inventor … designer? Exalted Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci created many treasures, and now historians can add a killer accessory to his list of achievements. Based upon sketches drawn round the time he worked on “The Last Supper” (15th C.), an Italian fashion house is introducing a new bag designed by the original Renaissance man himself.

Da Vinci scholar Carlo Pedretti found a sketch of the leather accessory in 1978, but the discovery garnered little interest until today, when the Italian fashion house Gherardini decided to make it take up the challenge. Dubbed “Petriosa” (Italian for “precious”), designer Carla Braccialini brought Da Vinci’s creation to life in supple calfskin and brass hardware.

Petriosa was on display earlier this month at Europe’s first art school, Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, in Florence, and it will be on sale at Gherardini boutiques in a limited run of 99 come March (though good luck trying to snag one).

The history buffs amongst our readers might recognize “Gherardini” as the maiden name of da Vinci’s famed model Lisa del Giocondo, aka the Mona Lisa; her progeny founded the fashion house over a century ago.

History aside, the bag itself is undoubtedly gorgeous. Even in pictures, the quality of the leather looks extravagantly rich and soft, and the intricate appliqués add delightful ornamentation to the piece without being garish.

If da Vinci needed the Mona Lisa to smile, he could’ve just given her this bag.

This video by Gheradini demonstrates how the purse was made.

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  • herronE201

    Amber Marie
    Dodson-Rivera: When browsing through the tumbler website this particular photo
    caught my eye immediately. Maybe purses are my weakness. However, I was little
    shocked when I read the commentary below “Courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci.”
    Leonardo da Vinci was drawing pursing in the 15th Century? I continuously
    looked at the sketch and the purse and found it quite fascinating to see the
    sketch come alive. Although some Italian purse designer has beautifully constructed
    the purse, I felt there was a significant difference between the purse’s design
    and the sketch, which Leonardo da Vinci drew. I believe if the Italian purse
    designer wants to promote the purse’s design as, “Courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci”
    shouldn’t the purse’s design closely resemble Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch? Instead,
    I see the purse as having a modern or today’s society twist. The twist that I
    am describing is easy to see on the purse in comparison to the sketch, which
    appears very simplistic in design. So why is this Italian fashion house
    creating and promoting a purse that is not exact in design to Leonardo da Vinci’s
    sketch? Why are they introducing this new bag design as coming from the
    original Renaissance man himself? 

  • Kathy McQueen

    Watch the video. Don’t you think it is because the purse maker himself is an artist. His own vision is coloring the work. Beautiful.

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