Leonardo's Notebooks: Writing and Art of the Great Master

Leonardo's Notebooks: Writing and Art of the Great Master

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 1579129463

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An all-new, jewel-like, reader-friendly format gives new life to this relaunch of an international best-seller.

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.

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that which receives it at an obtuse angle and both the light and the shadow form pyramids. The angle c receives the highest grade of light because it is directly in front of the window a b and the whole horizon of the sky m x. The angle a differs but little from c because 104 Beauty, Reason, and Art the angles which divide it are not so unequal as those below, and only that portion of the horizon is intercepted which lies between y and x. Although it gains as much on the other side, its line is

preserve its own color. Hence the green of fields will assume a bluer hue than yellow or white will, and conversely yellow or white will change less than green, and red still less. f Of several [patches of] color, all equally white, that [patch] will look whitest which is against the darkest background. And black will look most intense against the whitest background. And red will look most vivid against the most yellow background; and the same is the case with all colors when surrounded by their

empirical methods were frowned upon. But Leonardo recognized that in order to depict the human body accurately, one must first understand its underlying structures and organizing principles. From there he moved on to man’s immediate surroundings. “Botany and Landscape” highlights his observations on the environment, especially as they relate to pictorial depiction. In “Geography,” he addresses the structures of the earth in anatomical terms, comparing the oceans to the blood and the soil to the

with ruins of shrubs, hurled down from the sides of their lofty peaks, which will be mixed with mud, roots, boughs of trees, with all sorts of leaves thrust in with the mud and earth and stones. And into the depth of some valley may have fallen the fragments of a mountain forming a shore to the swollen waters of its river; which, having already burst its banks, will rush on in monstrous waves; and the greatest will strike upon and destroy the walls of the cities and farmhouses in the valley. 44

from the bottom of the nose to the top of the eyelid. The space between the eyes is equal to the width of an eye. The ear is over the middle of the neck, when seen in profile. a n o f are equal to the mouth. a c and a f are equal to the space between one eye and the other. n m o p q r are equal to half the width of the eyelids, that is, from the inner corner of the eye to its outer corner; and in like manner the division between the chin and the mouth; and in the same way the narrowest part of

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