Reub's journey

30 September 2010

Simonetta and Leonardo at the Willow Manor Ball

There is a ball tonight, and we have all been invited. Pick your date. Pick your partner. Pick everything.

Botticelli's Birth of Venus, 1486, modeled after Simonetta Vespucci

I desperately need a dress for this occasion.

I'm going for this, by Donna Koran, and for just under $4,000, a steal.

Tonight I will be myself, but I will be channeling Simonetta Vespucchi, at age 19, from Florence, Italy in the year 1473. She (I?) was the young bride of merchant Marco Vespucci, and all of Florence was besotted by her--okay--me, including the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano Medici, from the most powerful family in the city...

Sandro Botticelli's self-portrait, a detail from Adoration of the Magi

...and the artist Sandro Botticelli adored me (her). It was an unrequited love; I was after all a married woman (dear John, err...Marco), and the mistress of Giuliano d'Medici (that bastard).

Portrait of the Ideal Woman, 1480

Over and over again Botticelli used my image as his model of the ideal woman.

Madonna of the Pomegranate, 1487

Upon his death he requested to be buried at my feet. I had died decades earlier at the age of 22, sadly taken by tuberculosis.

But tonight I am alive again, happy and ethereal. I thought about choosing Sandro as my date, but no. Sandro Botticelli was obsessive, and who needs that? Instead I have asked Leonardo da Vinci, handsome in his youth, and gay as a spring zephyr, how perfect.

Self-portrait, Leonardo da Vinci, 1513

Although I know he was fetching in his younger years, I have requested his presence as an old man. I have questions that only an old man such as he can answer.

We shall arrive at the ball, each of us astride our favorite horse. My horse will be a white mare, a good match for my red dress.

Amid the swirling dancers, the dim lights, and the music, tonight Leonardo and I will talk. I have armed myself with great knowledge, and I know he wonders...

..about flight... and I, having prepared myself with the facts of aerospace engineering, will describe a jet.

I will ask him about his mother, the peasant from Vinci from whom he was separated as a child; I know that she must have been excessively beautiful and intelligent...

He will be surprised that helicopters were actually produced in the 20th century, and I will have to tell him about the combustion engine, and alloy metals.
I will want to change the subject, of course.

I must ask him if there is a hidden fresco in Florence. (I do hope so!)

He will be interested to know that submarines have been feasible for over 100 years, and that parachutes are unremarkable these days.

I will want to know his secret recipe for the color blue.

Bronze horse, September 1999, in Milan, Italy. Designed in honor of Da Vinci's clay horse destroyed by the French in 1499.

Leonardo will be glad to know that horses are as lovely as ever...

July, 2010

...and that the trees still look the same in Tuscany.

We will have so much to talk about.

Leonardo, who designed weapons for the Duke of Milan, will dine on stuffed mushrooms because he is vegetarian, and really very gentle.

Join us. It will be a perfect night.


  1. Oh my dear the perfect dress and the perfect date! Bravo!

  2. Oh it sounds divine!

    Thanks so much for you nice comments on my blog. So kind of you.

  3. What an entrance you've made..a white horse, a red dress..hard to top!! Very classy channeling..I usually get Joan Crawford!!
    I'll take any Leonardo I can get...

  4. What a stunning on that striking white horse and killer red gown! I've instructed the staff to make your horsey comfy in the stables. Come on in and dance!

  5. Eavesdropping on your conversation with Leonardo.
    Absolutely wonderful choice of date, what a thrill!
    Is he going to paint your portrait?

  6. You look amazing .. and you channeled the perfect muse for Willow's Ball. I always choose the white stallion from my stable when donning my red gowns.

  7. Oh to be the subject of Boticelli.You are truly a classic my dear. Oh can I sweep Leonardo away - I need help with a portrait I've been stuck on for hmmm 25 years now.

    Great to meet you

  8. i want to sit in on some of that conversation.

  9. Delightful post, Kerry. And that gown. Oh, my goodness!

    BTW; did your horse have a chance to chat with Mr. Ed? I understand he spent part of the evening the stables.

  10. This is just brilliant! What an ingenious twist on this grand gala. Brava, I toast to your excellent scheme!

  11. Oh what fun... Love and Light, Sender

  12. Ok, I can understand your desire for Leonardo, and I can't possibly compete. But, Oh Darlin', save the last dance for me........?


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