A passionate reader of history, Leonardo possessed Livy’s History of Rome, the Bible, and other compilations of universal history such as the Cronica (Chronicle) by Iacopo Foresti.
Venezia, Giovanni Ragazzo per Lucantonio Giunta, 1490
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Palatino D.7.2.7, f. AA1r
In 1495, when he began to paint the Last Supper, Leonardo noted in the Codex Atlanticus (f. 288r) the purchase of a Bible for 61 soldi. This is probably the Venetian edition of Nicolò Malermi’s translation into the vernacular dated 1490, with an imposing apparatus of images, which in some cases seem to have influenced Leonardo’s figurative ideas.