A QUIET FAREWELL: A letter from Francesco Melzi
Ser Giuliano e fratelli suoi honorandi.
Credo che siate certificati della morte di Maestro Lionardo fratello vostro, e mio quanto optimo Padre, per la cui morte sarebbe impossibile che io potesse esprimere mie membra si soseranno insieme, io possederò una perpetua infelicità, e meritamente perchè sviscerato et adentissimo amore mi portava giornalmente.
E’l dolo ad ognuno la perdita di tal uomo, quale non è più in podestà della natura. Adesso Iddio omnipotente gli conceda eterna quete…
Ser Giuliano and your honoured brothers.
I believe that you are informed of the death of Maestro Lionardo, your brother, and my almost more than father, but it would be impossible to express to you the grief I feel on this occasion, and ever shall feel as long as I continue to exist, and most deservedly from the selfless and incandescent love he bore me.
The loss of such a man is an affliction to the whole world. God has now granted him eternal rest…
May 2nd, 1519 - Leonardo da Vinci dies in exile at Chateau Cloux in Amboise, France. He was 67 years old.
In his will, Leonardo requested to have 60 lit tapers carried by 60 poor men, who were paid for the service, to follow his coffin. Aside from being a beautifully haunting and dramatic sight, as funerals were usually held at dusk, there was a reason for it, one that seems almost out of place, but also perfectly befitting his way of thinking:
“So God can see the way to come for my Soul…”
You will be forever missed, Leonardo.