Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

Pisa was one of the most important artistic and cultural centres of Tuscany at the time of Leonardo and had a special significance for him. His father and his brother both worked for many years in the city, while his nephew, the sculptor Pierino da Vinci, settled in Pisa and enjoyed a successful career working on prestigious commissions until he died there in 1553.

The river Arno in Pisa

In Madrid Ms. II, on folios 52v-53r, which constitute Leonardo's closest study of the surroundings of Pisa Leonardo provides important information on the hydrographic nature of the territory before the grand-ducal interventions. Leonardo took an interest in the Pisan territory especially during the years 1503-1504, for his project for deviating the Arno toward the Stagno di Livorno, the realisation of which was begun on August 22, 1504, only to conclude in failure the following autumn.