"Road Rage, 1512"

copy of lost Leonardo DiCapriovinci

One of the tragedies of the early Renaissance was the condition of the roads and the attitudes of the riders and drivers. In the year 1512 an estimated 1,800 incidents of violent road behavior were reported on the passage from Verona to Padua alone. Riders would overreact to simple discourtesy— loud music, over-use of the horn, obscene gestures, tailgating, or changing lanes without signaling — with extreme violence.


DiCapriovinci's original work captured an incident in his own family, when his cousin Vinnie, in the center, attempted to avoid a speed trap by abruptly moving from the inside to the outside lane, cutting off one of the Medici brothers (left) and throwing his passenger under the horse's hooves. Ludicritio Medici, (right) then rammed his sport utility stallion into cousin Vinnie's gelding, which knocked over several pedestrians (bottom center). By the time the police arrived 3 people were dead, 17 injured and one horse had to be destroyed on the spot. Leonardo himself was dragged into the subsequent trial and lawsuits, which lasted for more than 8 years and finally required Papal intervention.

 

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