35 living descendants of Leonardo Da Vinci's family have been identified. Although Da Vinci didn't have any children, a project – started in 1973 – sort to create his family tree starting from the children of his siblings. Art historians Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, from the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci, have been putting the pieces together for the past 40 years. The museum, in Leonardo's hometown, Vinci in Tuscany, was founded by scholars and artists to study the complexity of Da Vinci as artist, scientist, inventor and designer.
Their research took them to France and Spain, and among the 35 descendants they traced is director Franco Zeffirelli.
Zeffirelli is an invented name meaning ‘little breezes' because as he was born out of an affair between his mother and Ottorino Corsi, from Vinci, and both of them were married, he couldn't be given either of their names. His mother was inspired by the name of her favourite aria: “Zeffiretti lusinghieri” from Mozart's Idomeneo.
The Corsi family were in Vinci for generations. Zeffirelli now lives in Rome but most of the 35 descendants still live in Tuscany.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
Se non e vero, e ben trovato!!!!
So, even more smug now.
Mary, a friend ,the late Phil Sanders, designed headgear for Zefferelli for Metropolitan Opera when Zefferelli was Artistic Director, plus designed the headwear for Caberet for Bob Fosse for Broadway show.
Leonardo was probably gay and is not known to have had any children. As the piece says, despite it’s misleading headline, Zeffirelli is descended from the da Vinci family, NOT from Leonardo himself, which isn’t that exciting really.
Similarly, I’m descended from the Nightingale family but sadly can’t claim Florence to be a blood relative.
I thought that too when translating from the Italian articles on the story, but good ol’ Wikipedia said that there are two types of descendants, ‘lineal’, but also ‘collateral’ “a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor”.