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A genuine prototype for subsequent rural Lombard architecture
The Sforzesca was “The Moor’s” first initiative in Vigevano. He considered it a centre for collection and organisation of the extremely rich profits of the land, and promoted experimental farming and husbandry activities, including the known introduction of mulberry trees and of the silk worm.
The closed courtyard of the Sforzesca is a genuine prototype for later rural Lombard architecture, especially for the magnificent regularity of the layoutand its rigorous functional features.
The Duke also ensured the presence of vegetable and flower gardens, which were made possible by controlling the waters. However, he did not build a suburban residence for himself, which would have been typical of 15th century courts.
Indeed, in this regard he maintained previous medieval customs. Built before 1487. Architects: Guglielmo da Comino, who designed the villa-farmstead, and Leonardo da Vinci, designer of the irrigation canal network.
...quanto più cade, più balza Adí 2 febbraio 1494 alla Sforzesca ritrassi 25 scalini di 2/3 di braccio l’uno larghi braccia 8 braccia 4-ghiara. La somma profondità dell’'acqua sarà tra la percussione e i bollori d’essa resultanti
During his stay at the Sforzesca, Leonardo da Vinci also painted the portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, "Lady with an Ermine" (today displayed at the Museum of Krakow).