Aldrichimica Acta

Aldrichimica Acta Volume 51, No. 1
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For over 50 years, the Aldrichimica Acta has been an open-access, international forum for the frontiers of chemical research. It publishes topical and insightful reviews, written by prominent chemists from around the world and covering a variety of topics usually based on a synthetic theme in organic, organometallic, or bio-organic chemistry. For the past 15 years, and in comparison to other international journals in the field of organic chemistry, the Acta has consistently been ranked in the top three both by Clarivate Analytics Impact Factor (out of 55+ journals)  and by SCImago’s Journal Rank indicator (out of 120+ journals).

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Aldrichimica Acta 2018, Vol. 51, No. 1

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

Ginevra de' Benci [obverse], ca. 1474/1478

Painting Clues:

On the back, or reverse, side of this panel is another painting, Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll. On the scroll, the Latin inscription reads “Virtutem Forma Decorat”, or Beauty Decorates Virtue. This is clearly in reference to the subject of the portrait on the obverse side, and serves as its symbol. At the center of the emblem is a juniper branch, a symbol of chastity in Italy at the time, and a stand-in for Ginevra herself. The juniper is surrounded on each side by a palm and a laurel branch, representing moral virtue and literary talents, both known attributes of Ginevra. Thus, the back side is another symbolic portrait of Ginevra.
To read more about the two sides of this masterpiece, and about who is likely to have commissioned it, check out the NGA’s web site at

Detail from Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll. Photo courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Detail from Ginevra de' Benci. Photo courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

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