Oxford World's Classics: NoteBooks (World Classics)
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'Study me reader, if you find delight in me...Come, O men, to see the miracles that such studies will disclose in nature.'
Most of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci, we know because of his notebooks. Some 6,000 sheets of notes and drawings survive, which represent perhaps one-fifth of what he actually produced. In them he recorded everything that interested him in the world around him, and his study of how things work. With an artist's eye and a scientist's curiosity he studied the movement of water and the formation of rocks, the nature of flight and optics, anatomy, architecture, sculpture, and painting. He jotted down fables and letters and developed his belief in the sublime unity of nature and man. Through his notebooks we can get an insight into Leonardo's thoughts, and his approach to work and life.
This selection offers a cross-section of his writings, organized around coherent themes. Fully updated, this new edition includes some 70 line drawings and a Preface by Martin Kemp, one of the world's leading authorities on Leonardo.
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1482/3) 15 April 1452. Birth of Leonardo at Vinci, on the western slope of Mount Albano, near Empoli. The birth was recorded by his grandfather Antonio: ‘On Saturday at three o’clock at night on April 15 a grandson of mine was born, son of my son Piero. He was named Lionardo. The priest Piero of Bartolomeo da Vinci baptized him. . . .’ Here follow the names of ten witnesses of his baptism. He was born out of wedlock to a farmer’s daughter called Caterina, and his parents were parted after
sixteenth century (Riccordi, 1546), is right in saying that Leonardo worked on the model for the horse of the Sforza monument for sixteen years he must have started soon after his arrival at Milan. The following note written many years later refers to an earthquake that took place about this time at Rhodes. In eighty-nine [the year 1489] there was an earthquake in the sea of Atalia near Rhodes, which opened the sea, that is its bottom; and into this opening such a torrent of water was
executed when the French took Milan in 1499.Marco: probably Leonardo’s pupil Marco d’Oggionno (c.1475-1530). Maestro Agostino of Pavia: Agostino Vaprio of Pavia, a painter called to Milan in 1490 to help decorate the ducal castle. 292 Gian Antonio: probably Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1467-1516), pupil of Leonardo.Messer Mariolo: Mariolo da Guiscardi was a prominent member of the Sforza court for whom Leonardo had planned a palace. 293 Ghiringhello . . . Pelacano: Giovanni di
the bore of a carbine. The one among them who finds himself in a straight line with the direction of the bore of the carbine will be more likely to hit its bottom with his arrow. Likewise of the objects opposite to the eye those will be more directly transferred to the sense which are more in line with the perforated nerve. That liquid which is in the light that surrounds the black centre of the eye acts like hounds in the chase, which start the quarry for the hunters to capture. Likewise the
light: I thought that in you I had found my happiness! Vainly do I lament my mad desire, and by my ruin I have come to know your rapacious and destructive nature.’ To which the light replied: ‘Thus do I treat whoever does not know how to use me aright.’ This applies to those who, when they see before them carnal and worldly delights, hasten to them like the butterfly, without ever taking thought as to their nature, which they will learn to know to their shame and loss. The flint, on being