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a DNA test found several of his offspring

Leonardo da Vinci continues to impress art lovers. The child prodigy was an Italian Renaissance painter. Architect, theorist and mathematician, he was gifted in other fields. In recent years a DNA tracking project has been started to find living descendants of the Italian painter. More than a dozen have been strictly identified that week.

living relatives from Tuscany

14! This is the number of offspring found thanks to the massive DNA monitoring project. Its purpose was to confirm whether the remains found at the Château d’Amboise were actually from him. This new investigation thus discovered 14 living parents, all male and all from Tuscany, mainly in the vicinity of the town of Vinci. The project also aims to expand genetic associations that link his incredible talents as well as perfect visual acuity.

The results are based on the Y chromosome, which are all identical. It hasn’t changed in about 25 generations. As the sixth generation of the family, the researchers were also able to locate Michele da Vinci, Leonardo’s ancestor.

Leonardo da Vinci never had children

The people found are added to the 35 people identified in 2016. However, they are not direct descendants as Leonardo da Vinci never had children. On the other hand, his father had had a lot. There are no fewer than 22 half-brothers at Leonardo da Vinci. This completes the family tree over 690 years.

Many historians have concluded that Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual. He also appeared in court in 1476 for “active sodomy”. The only element was an anonymous letter denouncing the rape of Jacopo Saltarelli by four young people, including Leonard. The case was closed for lack of serious evidence, but he remained in prison for several years.

The next step in DNA tracking will be to confirm that the remains found at the Château d’Amboise really belong to him. If the results are positive, the researchers can use this DNA to authenticate certain works by the painter. For this it is necessary that the DNA residues placed on the works are not damaged.


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