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.