On January 13th 1490, Leonardo was commissioned by the Duke Ludovico Sforza to organize in Milan a majestic spectacle, called ‘Festa del Paradiso’, for the wedding of Gian Galeazzo Sforza with Isabella d’Aragona. The Florentine poet Bernardo Bellicnioni was the author of the dialogues of the play. In the ‘Sala Verde’ of the Ducal Palace, Leonardo elaborated a ‘Paradise’ reproducing the motion of the seven planets orbiting round and hosting the seven gods of Olympus, who came to earth to pay homage to the new duchess. Leonardo chose the mythological, astrological, and encomiastic subject for creating unprecedented mechanical scenery. This article will explore models and heritage of Leonardo’s theatrical ingegno, which inaugurated a new genre of theatrical entertainment and engineering invention for the wonder of the Sforza’s court and its foreign illustrious guests.
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