Master Leonardo da Vinci’s kitchen is a bedlam. Lord Ludovico Sforza told me that the effort of the last months had been to economize upon human labor, but now, instead of the twenty cooks the kitchens once employed, there are closer to two hundred persons milling in the area, and none that I could see cooking but all attending to the great devices that crowded up the floors and walls – and none of which seemed behaving in any manner useful or for which it was created. At one end a great waterwheel, driven by a raging waterfall, spewed and spattered forth its waters over all who passed beneath and made the floor a lake. Giant bellows, each twelve feet long, were suspended from the ceilings, hissing and roaring with intent to clear the fire smoke, but all they accoplished was to fan the flames. … And through this stricken area wandered horses and oxen … dragging Master Leondard’s floor-cleaning devices – performing their tasks valiantly, but also followed by another great army of men to clean the horses’ messes.
– From a 1482 report describing the Sforza castle kitchen as managed by a 30-year-old Leonard da Vinci, as printed on the insert in the recent food-themed postcard pack from Public Domain Review
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