According to large-scale research, Leonardo Da Vinci has 14 living male relatives that have followed the family tree of the world-famous painter, architect and engineer for 21 generations, 690 years.
The work presented in the scientific journal Human Evolution is a synthesis of a decade of research. It fills in the gaps and corrects mistakes that have been made in previous studies of the Da Vinci family.
For their research, Da Vinci experts Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato also spoke to the descendants of the family living today, some of whom are already retired, including office workers, steelworkers and manual workers.
The results could provide a solid foundation for a Da Vinci DNA research project and contribute to the work of the Leonardo Da Vinci Heritage Association.
The study documents the father-son line from Da Vinci’s grandfather, Michele, born in 1331, to Leonardo Da Vinci, representing the 6th generation to the present day: it spans 21 generations and five family branches.
Leonardo had at least 22 half-brothers, but no children were born. The five family branches were derived from Leonardo’s father, ser Piero (5th generation), and half-brother, Domenico (6th generation). Since the 15th generation, researchers have collected data from more than 225 individuals.
The Y chromosome, inherited by male descendants, remains almost unchanged for 25 generations. Comparing the chromosomes of today’s male descendants with their ancestors at ancient and modern burial sites confirms the uninterrupted bloodline and validates Leonardo’s own Y chromosome marker.
After exploring Da Vinci’s DNA, science can answer several questions: the secretary of the polyhistor’s flame spirit, his parents ’geographical origins, physical abilities, left-handedness, diet, health, possible hereditary diseases, and special vision, synesthesia, and other sensory abilities.
Comparing biological data can even help verify the authenticity of works of art.