Leonardo's Notebooks: Writing and Art of the Great Master
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Leonardo da Vinci?artist, inventor, and prototypical Renaissance man?is a perennial source of fascination because of his astonishing intellect and boundless curiosity about the natural and man-made world. During his life he created numerous works of art and kept voluminous notebooks that detailed his artistic and intellectual pursuits.
The collection of writings and art in this magnificent book are drawn from his notebooks. The book organizes his wide range of interests into subjects such as human figures, light and shade, perspective and visual perception, anatomy, botany and landscape, geography, the physical sciences and astronomy, architecture, sculpture, and inventions. Nearly every piece of writing throughout the book is keyed to the piece of artwork it describes.
The writing and art is selected by art historian H. Anna Suh, who provides fascinating commentary and insight into the material, making Leonardo's Notebooks an exquisite single-volume compendium celebrating his enduring genius.
except where it is strongest, at c. To prove this, let d a be the primary shadow that is turned toward the point e, and darkens it by its derived shadow; as may be seen by the triangle a e d, in which the angle e faces the darkened base d a e; the point v faces the dark shadow a s, which is part of a d, and as the whole is greater than a part, e, which faces the whole base [of the triangle], will be in deeper shadow than v, which only faces part of it. In consequence, t will be less darkened than
have found that as a rule the second is 4/5 of the ﬁrst when it is 20 braccia beyond it.  Perspective and Visual Perception 123   There is another kind of perspective which I call Aerial Perspective, because by the atmosphere we are able to distinguish the variations in distance of different buildings, which appear placed on a single line; as, for instance, when we see several buildings beyond a wall, all of which, as they appear above the top of the wall, look of the 124 Beauty,
you have seen a limb from the front, with any muscles, sinews, or veins which take their rise from the opposite side, the same limb will be shown to you in a side view or from behind, exactly as if you had that same limb in your hand and were turning it from side to side until you had acquired a full comprehension of all you wished to know. In the same way there will be put before you three or four demonstrations of each limb, from various points of view, so that you will be left with a true and
from age to age, when painters have no other standard than painting already done. Hence the painter will produce pictures of small merit if he takes for his standard the pictures of others as was seen in the painters after the Romans who always imitated each other and so their art constantly declined from age to age. But if he will study from natural objects he will bear good fruit.  Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent; and this will be discernible in boys who
you should always practice such things as may be of use in your profession, by giving your eye good practice in judging of objects. Thus, to accustom your mind to such things, let one of you draw a straight line at random on a wall, and each of you, taking a blade of grass or of straw in his hand, try to cut it to the length that the line drawn appears to him to be, standing at a distance of 10 braccia; then each one may go up to the line to measure the length he has judged it to be. And he who