Duchy of Milan, Ludovico Maria Sforza, Testone

Ludovico Maria Sforza (1494-1500) was a prince of the Renaissance in the truest sense. As such, he was a patron of the arts; from 1482 to 1499, Leonardo da Vinci worked as artist and as engineer of weaponry on his court in Milan. Leonardo earned a basic salary of 2000 ducats per year, about 6400 testones like the one shown here. That was a princely pay. Just as an indication: For 4 ducats, about 13 testones, one could buy the colored de luxe edition of the Schedel'sche Weltchronik that was published in 1493. Schedel's World Chronicle was the most comprehensive illustrated work of early letterpress, depicting more than 1800 woodcuts on over 600 pages.