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The Eyes of Leonardo’

To the Editors:

The following corrections should be made to my review of the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition of Leonardo drawings [NYR, April 10]: Verrocchio’s painting The Baptism of Christ is in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Leonardo’s drawing of the “Vitruvian Man” is in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice. Gascon, not Burgundian, bowmen fired on Leonardo’s model for the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza during the siege of Milan in 1499.

In addition, Charles Camargo of the Stanford Medical School notes that Ludovico Il Moro was not killed in 1499 but rather fled to Vienna, attempted to recapture Milan in 1500, and upon his defeat was imprisoned and taken to France, where he died of natural causes in 1508.

Professor Camargo also argues that syph- ilis did not show up until the siege of Naples by Charles VIII in 1495; but the siege of Naples was the culminating episode of the invasion of 1494, and such contemporaries as the Sienese chronicler Sigismondo Tizio associate the outbreak of the disease with that initial incursion rather than its Neapolitan climax (indeed, Tizio also ties the outbreak to the election of Pope Alexander VI Borgia in 1492). Because Spanish sailors appeared in Aragonese-ruled Naples as a matter of routine, it is not out of the question to suppose that some of them may have been sick with syphilis before Charles VIII ever set foot in Italy.

My thanks to Professor Camargo and the other scholars whose sharp eyes and acute critical sense have put things right.

Ingrid Rowland

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