Isabella and Leonardo

1491 Leonardo designs for Isabella’s sister wedding, Beatrice d'Este Sforza.


1496 Leonardo designs for Isabella in Pavia, the production "Il Timone."

1497 Leonardo designs a bath suite for Isabella at Mantua.

1497 Leonardo delivers musical instruments to Isabella in Mantua.

1498 Isabella borrows Lady with Ermine from Ceceilia Gallerani to discern Leonarardo's ability for portrait painting.  Isabella hires Leonardo.


1500 Leonardo draws two sketches of Isabella (and Federico in utero) at Mantua.  


1500 Leonardo is displaced from Lombardy due to war, Isabella and Leonardo’s letters commence.


1501 Leonardo draws for Isabella’s husband, at Francesco's request the Villa Tovaglia.  Leonardo offers to create a painting and model for the study. 


1503 Leonardo paints Isabella portrait, La Joconde.

1504 Isabella addresses Leonardo in a grateful and informal manner.

"We shall remain so deeply obliged to you that our sole desire will be to do what you wish, and from this time forth we are ready to do your service and pleasure."

1506 Isabella visits with Leonardo's uncle the Catholic Canon at Fiesole, outside of Florence.  Here Leonardo had purchased a small fruit orchard.

1506 Leonardo returns to Lombardy, where distant correspondence wanes.


1508 Leonardo asks Isabella’s brother the Cardinal Ippolito d'Este for a recommendation with a legal dispute in Florence.


1508 Leonardo draws La Scapigliata, found in the collection at Mantua.


1508 Leonardo begins the subject Leda and the Swan.


1509 Isabella rules Mantua while her husband is held prisoner in Venice.


1513 Leonardo displaced from Lombardy again by war, finds patronage in the new Medici Pope, Leo X.  The Medici had been exiled for twenty years, quickly regained power over Florence and the Papacy, added by mercenary force. 


1513 Isabella follows to Rome, where she is hosted by Pope Leo X.  Entreating Isabella to offer, "as much friendliness as you would your brother."


1515 Leonardo attends a peace treaty in Bolgona, between the Pope and French King.  Leonardo's service is offered to the invading King.


1516 Leonardo leaves for France.  Describing his new Medici patron, Pope Leo X.  "The Medici made me and destroyed me."  


1517 Isabella travels to France for several months. 


1517 Upon her return, Leonardo writes Mantua via Rinaldo Ariosto, Ludovico Ariosto’s cousin.  “Lion which opened, and in the inside, it was all blue, which signified love.”


1517 Isabella’s cousin Cardinal d’Aragona visits Leonardo’s studio.


1518- The King of France, Leonardo's patron, holds a festival in honor of Isabella’s son, Federico II Gonzaga, the future Duke of Mantua.  


1518- Leonardo designs a costume for Isabella’s son for the festivities.

(Isabella’s son Federico, first drawn in utero via the sketch of his mother, Portrait of Isabella d'Este.  Has a costume designed for him by Leonardo eighteen years later.)


1519- Leonardo passes away the following spring in France.

Portrait of Isabella d'Este, Leonardo da Vinci, 1500.

Villa Tovaglia, Leonardo da Vinci, 1501.

La Joconde, Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1516.

                La Scapigliata                                                Leda and the Swan
               Leonardo da Vinci,                                             (after Leonardo)      
                      1508.                                                            Rapheal, 1508.
Masquerade Costume for Federico II Gonzaga, Leonardo da Vinci, 1518.