LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Deluge over a city1517-18
Black chalk on paper, 163 x 210 mm
Royal Library, Windsor
The forces of nature are descending on a city with considerable force. The theme of the Deluge may have been suggested by reports of the catastrophe in Bellinzona in 1515. "For in our own age something similar has been seen, a mountain fell seven miles across a valley, closed it off and created a lake," as Leonardo noted in connection with a discussion about the creation of the Red Sea.