Art historians have claimed to have found 14 living male descendants of famous Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci in a decade-long study.
“They are aged between one and 85, they don’t live right in Vinci but in neighboring municipalities as far as Versilia (on the Tuscan coast) and they have ordinary jobs like a clerk, a surveyor, an artisan,” art historian Vezzosi told Italian news agency Ansa.
The findings are part of a study led by Vezzosi and fellow art historian Agnese Sabato with the aim of reconstructing the genealogical profile of the artist “to understand better his extraordinary talents, notably his visual acuity.”
Published in the journal Human Evolution, the study tracks the continuous male line from da Vinci’s grandfather, Michele, to the 14 living relatives today — spanning through 21 generations, including five family branches, across 690 years.
The researchers said that they will compare the Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son, of the relatives with that of their ancestors in ancient and modern burial sites to “verify the uninterrupted family line and certify Leonardo’s own Y chromosome marker.”
Da Vinci was born in 1452 and died unmarried in 1519 with no children, but he had at least 22 half-brothers.
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