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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make the thickness. Then fill the mould by degrees and make it good throughout; encircle and bind it with irons and bake it inside where it has to touch the bronze.36 On the 29th day of January 1494. 37At the beginning of 1494 Leonardo was at Vigevano, the summer seat of the Sforzas on the banks of the Ticino, where Bramante was reconstructing the castle and adding the spacious Palazzo delle Dame. Leonardo made the following estimate for the decoration of a hall with scenes from Roman
September 1502 at the 15th hour. How the bastions should project beyond the walls of towns to defend the outer slopes, so that they may not be struck by artillery.107 On returning to Romagna Cesare Borgia found himself isolated at Imola, his captains conspiring against him, and Urbino in revolt. Leonardo’s plan of Imola, with indications of the distances to places in the neighbourhood, dates from about this time. Florence supported the cause of Cesare and sent Niccolò Machiavelli with offers
amounting to 100 lire from the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception for the picture of the Virgin of the Rocks (cf. pp. 275 and 334). Leonardo’s lengthy dissertation on fissures in walls and vaults may be dated about this time. First write a treatise on the causes of the giving way of walls and vaults and then treat of the remedies . . . .142 The following notes throw further light on Leonardo’s interests at this time. Books from Venice. Concave mirrors. Philosophy of
resisting earth they produce a movement of recoil, which as it tries to rise meets the descending wind, and thereby the ascent is constrained to break its natural order, and taking a transverse route pursues a violent course which grazes incessantly the surface of the earth. And when the aforesaid winds strike upon the salt waters, then their direction becomes clearly visible, in the angle that is formed by the lines of incidence and of recoil; and from these result the proud and menacing and
arms of the balance with the slant of the movements of these weights are equal, then these weights will show themselves unequal if their appendices have their slants unequal.144 The arrangement of the book will be as follows: First the simple poles, then supported from below, then partly suspended, then entirely, then let these poles support other weights.145 Of weight proportioned to the power that moves it. One has to consider the resistance of the medium wherein such a weight is