Lionardo da Vinci

Codex_Arundel_Page_118_Image_0001.jpg

About Notebooks

This page is a guide to exploring Leonardo's notebooks. 

Leonardo's Notebooks: Intro

*These translations have to be kept in their original order and categories for their footnotes to make sense. An updated categorization/ translations and updated footnotes and findings will be eventually created. This section will remain intact as representative of Jean Paul's translations. 2/2/2015 -D

 

If you would like to view all of Jean Paul's translations as one page:

All on one page

Notes: on this site's inclusion of Leonardo's Notebooks by Jean Paul Richter

  • -D is commentary by Me
  • JPR =  Jean Paul Richter

The numbers refer to JPR's numbering and order. 

If a quote is being referenced in another section of this site the # relates to it's place in the Leo's Notebooks: Sections. They are left in the original order to understand the footnotes by JPR. In future updates where I make new sections the #'s will still relate to these translations unless otherwise noted.

[Footnote:...]'s are by Jean Paul Richter and refer to his translation and section order. They are left for additional information and future footnotes or comments on his footnotes will eventually be linked to their proper place on this site if appropriate.  Since they are from the 1800's it will be interesting to see how they compare to modern times.

 

Directory to Leonardo's Notebooks:

  • intro 1-13
  • The plan of the book on painting 14-39
  • Linear Perspective 40-109
  • Six Books on Light and Shade
  • Perspective of Disappearance 222 - 262
  • Color 263-307
  • Proportions of Man 308-367
  •  Movements of Man 368-392
  •  Plants & Landscapes 393-481
  •  The Practice of Painting 482-604
  •  Weather 605-611
  • The Artist's Materials 612-650
  • Philsophy and History of the Art of Painting 651-662
  • Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations 663-702
  •  Notes on Sculpture 706-740
  • Architectural Designs
  • Theoretical Writings on Architecture
  • Anatomy, Zoology, and Physiology
  • Astronomy
  • Physical Geography
  •  Topographical Notes
  •  Naval Warfare, Mechanical Appliances, Music
  •  Philosophical Maxism, Morals, Polemics, and Speculations
  •  Morals
  • Polemics - Speculation
  •  Animals
  • Humorous Writings 
  • PROPHECIES
  • LETTERS. PERSONAL RECORDS. DATED NOTES
  • Miscellaneous Notes 
  •  Miscellaneous Notes II


Detailed Contents: 

Leonardo's Notebooks: Intro 1-13

  • Leonardo's intention to publish his 'notebooks' (1)
  • The preparation of the MSS. for publication (2)
  • Admonition to readers (3)
  • The disorder in the MSS.  (4)
  • Suggestions for the arrangement of MSS. treating of particular subjects (5—8)
  • General introductions to the book on painting(9—13) 

The plan of the book on painting 14-39


  • The plan of the book on painting (14—17)
  • The use of the book on painting (18)
  • Necessity of theoretical knowledge (19, 20)
  • The function of the eye (21—23)
  • Variability of the eye (24)
  • Focus of sight (25)
  • Differences of perception by one eye and by both eyes (26—29)
  • The comparative size of the image depends on the amount of light (30—39)



LINEAR PERSPECTIVE 40-109

  • General remarks on perspective (40—41)
  • The elements of perspective:—of the point (42—46)
  • Of the line (47—48)
  • The nature of the outline(49).—Definition of perspective(50)
  • The perception of the object depends on the direction of the eye(51)
  • Experimental proof of the existence of the pyramid of sight (52—55)
  • The relations of the distance point to the vanishing point (55—56)
  • How to measure the pyramid of vision(57)
  • The production of the pyramid of vision (58—64)
  • Proof by experiment (65—66)
  • General conclusions (67)
  • That the contrary is impossible (68)
  • A parallel case (69)
  • The function of the eye, as explained by the camera obscura (70—71)
  • The practice of perspective (72—73)
  • Refraction of the rays falling upon the eye (74—75)
  • The inversion of the images (76)
  • The intersection of the rays (77—82)
  • Demonstration of perspective by means of a vertical glass plane (83—85)
  • The angle of sight varies with the distance (86—88)
  • Opposite pyramids in juxtaposition (89)
  • On simple and complex perspective (90)
  • The proper distance of objects from the eye (91—92)
  • The relative size of objects with regard to their distance from the eye (93—98)
  • The apparent size of objects denned by calculation (99—106)
  • On natural perspective (107—109)


III

SIX BOOKS ON LIGHT AND SHADE

  • GENERAL INTRODUCTION.—Prolegomena (110)
  • Scheme of the books on light and shade (111).—
  • Different principles and plans of treatment (112—116)
  • Different sorts of light (117—118)
  • Definition of the nature of shadows (119—122)
  • Of the various kinds of shadows (123—125)
  • Of the various kinds of light (126—127)
  • General remarks (128—129)

FIRST BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.—On the nature of light (130—131)

  • The difference between light and lustre (132—135)
  • The relations of luminous to illuminated bodies (136).
  • Experiments on the relation of light and shadow within a room (137—140)
  • Light and shadow with regard to the position of the eye (141—14
  • The law of the incidence of light (146—147).—

SECOND BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.—Gradations of strength in the shadows (148—149)

  • On the intensity of shadows as dependent on the distance from the light (150—152)
  • On the proportion of light and shadow (153—157)

THIRD BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.—Definition of derived shadow (158—159)

  • Different sorts of derived shadows (160—162)
  • On the relation of derived and primary shadow (163—165)
  • On the shape of derived shadows (166—174)
  • On the relative intensity of derived shadows (175—179
  • Shadow as produced by two lights of different size (180—181
  • The effect of light at different distances (182)
  • Further complications in the derived shadows (183—187

FOURTH BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHAD


    • On the shape of cast shadows (188—191)
    • On the outlines of cast shadows (192—195)
    • On the relative size of cast shadows (196. 197)
    • Effects on cast shadows by the tone of the back ground (198)
    • A disputed proposition (199)
    • On the relative depth of cast shadows (200—202

    FIFTH BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHAD


    • Principles of reflection (203. 204
    • On reverberation (205
    • Reflection on water (206. 207).—
    • Experiments with the mirror (208—210
    • Appendix:—On shadows in movement (211—212

    SIXTH BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE

    • The effect of rays passing through holes (213. 214
    • On gradation of shadows (215. 216
    • On relative proportion of light and shadows (216—221)

    IV

    PERSPECTIVE OF DISAPPEARANCE 222-262

    • Definition (222. 223)
    • An illustration by experiment (224)
    • A guiding rule (225).—-An experiment (22
    • On indistinctness at short distances (227—231).—
    • On indistinctness at great distances (232—234)
    • The importance of light and shade in the Prospettiva de' perdimenti (235—239)
    • The effect of light or dark backgrounds on the apparent size of objects (240—250)
    • Propositions on Prospettiva de' perdimenti from MS. C. (250—262).


    V

    Color 263-307

    THEORY OF COLOURS


    • The reciprocal effects of colours on objects placed opposite each other (263—271)
    • Combination of different colours in cast shadows (272)
    • The effect of colours in the camera obscura (273. 274)
    • On the colours of derived shadows (275. 276)
    • On the nature of colours (277. 278)
    • On gradations in the depth of colours (279. 280)
    • On the reflection of colours (281—283)
    • On the use of dark and light colours in painting (284—286)
    • On the colours of the rainbow (287—288)

    VI


    PERSPECTIVE OF COLOUR AND AERIAL PERSPECTIVE


    • General rules (289—291)
    • An exceptional case (292)
    • An experiment (293)
    • The practice of the Prospettiva de' colori (294)
    • The rules of aerial perspective (295—297)
    • On the relative density of the atmosphere (298—299)
    • On the colour of the atmosphere (300—307)


    VII

    Proportions Of Man 308-367

    • Preliminary observations (308. 309)
    • Proportions of the head and face (310—318)
    • Proportions of the head seen in front (319—321)
    • Proportions of the foot (322—323)
    • Relative proportions of the hand and foot (324)
    • Relative proportions of the foot and of the face (325—327)
    • Proportions of the leg (328—331)
    • On the central point of the whole body (332)
    • The relative proportions of the torso and of the whole figure (333)
    • The relative proportions of the head and of the torso (334)
    • The relative proportions of the torso and of the leg (335. 336)
    • The relative proportions of the torso and of the foot (337)
    • The proportions of the whole figure (338—341)
    • The torso from the front and back (342)
    • Vitruvius' scheme of proportions (343)
    • The arm and head (344).—Proportions of the arm (345—349)
    • The movement of the arm (350—354)
    • The movement of the torso (355—361)
    • The proportions vary at different ages (362—367)


    Movements of Man 368-392

    • The movement of the human figure (368—375)
    • Of walking up and down (375—379)
    • On the human body in action (380—388)
    • On hair falling down in curls (389)
    • On draperies (390—392)



    VIII

    Plants & Landscapes 393-481

    BOTANY FOR PAINTERS, AND ELEMENTS OF LANDSCAPE PAINTING


    • Classification of trees (393)
    • The relative thickness of the branches to the trunk (394—396)
    • The law of proportion in the growth of the branches (397—402)
    • The direction of growth (403—407)
    • The forms of trees (408—411)
    • The insertion of the leaves (412—419)
    • Light on branches and leaves (420—422)
    • The proportions of light and shade in a leaf (423—426)
    • Of the transparency of leaves (427—429)
    • The gradations of shade and colour in leaves (430—434)
    • A classification of trees according to their colours (435)
    • The proportions of light and shade in trees (436—440)
    • The distribution of light and shade with reference to the position of the spectator (441—443)
    • The effects of morning light (444—448)
    • The effects of midday light (449)
    • The appearance of trees in the distance (450—451)
    • The cast shadow of trees (452. 453)
    • Light and shade on groups of trees (454—457)
    • On the treatment of light for landscapes (458—464)
    • On the treatment of light for views of towns (465—469)
    • The effect of wind on trees (470—473)
    • Light and shade on clouds (474—477)
    • On images reflected in water (478)
    • Of rainbows and rain (479. 480)
    • Of flower seeds (481)


    IX

    THE PRACTICE OF PAINTING


    I

    • MORAL PRECEPTS FOR THE STUDENT OF PAINTING.—How to ascertain the dispositions for an artistic career (482)
    • The course of instruction for an artist (483—485)
    • The study of the antique (486. 487)
    • The necessity of anatomical knowledge (488. 489)
    • How to acquire practice (490)
    • Industry and thoroughness the first conditions (491—493.)
    • The artist's private life and choice of company (493. 494)
    • The distribution of time for studying (495— 497)
    • On the productive power of minor artists (498—501)
    • A caution against one-sided study (502)
    • How to acquire universality (503—506)
    • Useful games and exercises (507. 508).—

    II


    THE ARTIST'S STUDIO.—INSTRUMENTS AND HELPS FOR THE APPLICATION OF PERSPECTIVE.—ON JUDGING OF A PICTURE

    • On the size of the studio (509)
    • On the construction of windows (510—512)
    • On the best light for painting (513—520)
    • On various helps in preparing a picture (521—530)
    • On the management of works (531. 532)
    • On the limitations of painting (533—535)
    • On the choice of a position (536. 537)
    • The apparent size of figures in a picture (538. 539)
    • The right position of the artist, when painting and of the spectator (540—547)

    II


    THE PRACTICAL METHODS OF LIGHT AND SHADE AND AERIAL PERSPECTIVE


    • Gradations of light and shade (548).—On the choice of light for a picture (549—554)
    • The distribution of light and shade (555—559)
    • The juxtaposition of light and shade (560. 561)
    • On the lighting of the background (562—565)
    • On the lighting of white objects (566)
    • The methods of aerial perspective (567—570)

    IV

    OF PORTRAIT AND FIGURE PAINTING



    • Of the light on the face (574—576)
    • General suggestions for historical pictures (577—581)
    • How to represent the differences of age and sex (582. 583)
    • Of representing the emotions (584)
    • Of representing imaginary animals (585)
    • The selection of forms (586—591)
    • How to pose figures (592).—Of appropriate gestures (593—600)
    • Of sketching figures and portraits (571. 572)
    • The position of the head (573)

    V


    SUGGESTIONS FOR COMPOSITIONS

    • Of painting battle-pieces (601—603)
    • Of depicting night-scenes (604)


    Weather 605-611

    • Of depicting a tempest (605. 606)
    • Of representing the deluge (607—609)
    • Of depicting natural phenomena (610. 611)


    THE ARTIST'S MATERIALS 612-650


    VI 

    • Of chalk and paper (612—617)
    • On the preparation and use of colours (618—627)
    • Of preparing the panel (628)
    • The preparation of oils (629—634)
    • On varnishes (635— 637)
    • On chemical _materials (638—650)


    VII.

    PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY OF THE ART OF PAINTING


    • The relation of art and nature (651. 652)
    • Painting is superior to poetry (653. 654)
    • Painting is superior to sculpture (655. 656)
    • Aphorisms (657—659)
    • On the history of painting (660. 661)
    • The painter's scope (662)

    X

    STUDIES AND SKETCHES FOR PICTURES AND DECORATIONS

    • On pictures of the Madonna (663)
    • Bernardo di Bandino's portrait (664)
    • Notes on the Last Supper (665—668)
    • On the battle of Anghiari (669)
    • Allegorical representations referring to the duke of Milan (670—673)
    • Allegorical representations (674—678)
    • Arrangement of a picture (679).—List of drawings (680)
    • Mottoes and Emblems (681—702)



    CONTENTS OF VOLUME II



    XI

    NOTES ON SCULPTURE

    •  Some practical hints (706--709)
    • Notes on the casting of the Sforza monument (710--715)
    • Models for the horse of the Sforza monument (716--718).
    • Occasional references to the Sforza monument (719--724)
    • The project of the Trivulzio monument (725)
    • The mint of Rome (726)
    • On the coining of medals (727. 728).--On plaster (729. 730)
    • On bronze casting generally (731--740)


    XII

     Architecture


    ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS


    • Plans for towns (741--744)
    • Plans for canals and streets in a town (745--747)
    • Castles and villas.--A. Castles.--B. Projects for palaces.
    • Plans for small castles or villas (748--752)
    • --Ecclesiastical Architecture.--A. General observations (753--755)
    • The theory of constructing Domes (756).
    • Churches formed on the plan of a Latin cross (757)
    • Studies for a form of church most proper for preaching--D. Design for a mausoleum.--E. Studies for the Central tower or Tiburio of Milan Cathedral (758)
    • The Project for lifting up the Battistero of Florence and setting it on a basement (759)
    • Palace architecture (760-763)
    • VI. Studies of architectural details (764--769)



    XIII

    THEORETICAL WRITINGS ON ARCHITECTURE

    •  On Fissures in walls (770--776).
    • On Fissures in niches (777--778)
    • On the nature of the arch (779--788)
    • On Foundations, the nature of the ground and supports (789--792)
    • On the resistance of beams (793--795)

    ANATOMY, ZOOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY

    • Plans and suggestions for the arrangement of materials (797--802)
    • Plans for the representation of muscles by drawings (803--809)
    • On corpulency and leanness (809--811)
    • The divisions of the head (812.--813)
    • Physiological problems (814. 815)
    • II. ZOOLOGY AND COMPARATIVE ANATOMY
    • The divisions of the animal kingdom (816. 817)
    • Miscellaneous notes on the study of Zoology (818 -821)
    • Comparative study of the structure of bones and of the action of muscles (822--826)
    • III. PHYSIOLOGY
    • Comparative study of the organs of sense in men and animals (827)
    • Advantages in the structure of the eye in certain animals (828 to 831)
    • Remarks on the organs of speech (832. 833)
    • On the conditions of sight (834. 835)
    • The seat of the common sense (836)
    • On the origin of the soul (837)
    • On the relations of the soul to the organs of sense (838)
    • On involuntary muscular action (839)
    • Miscellaneous physiological observations (840--842)
    • The laws of nutrition and the support of life (843-848)
    • On the circulation of the blood (848--850).--Some notes on medicine (851--855)



    XV

    ASTRONOMY

     THE EARTH AS A PLANET

    • The earth's place in the universe (857. 858)
    • The fundamental laws of the solar system (859--864)
    • How to prove that the earth is a planet (865--867)
    • The principles of astronomical perspective (868 to 873)
    • On the luminosity of the earth in the universal space (874--878)
    • II. THE SUN:--The question of the true and of the apparent size of the sun (879--884)
    • -Of the nature of sunlight (885)
    • Considerations as to the size of the sun (886-891)
    • III. THE MOON:--On the luminosity of the moon (892 to 901)
    • Explanation of the lumen cinereum of the moon (902)
    • On the spots in the moon (903--907)
    • On the moon's halo (908)
    • On instruments for observing the moon (909. 910)
    • IV. THE STARS:--On the light of the stars (911-913)
    • Observations on the stars (914).--On the history of astronomy (915)
    • Of time and its divisions (916--918)

    XVI

    PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

    • -Schemes for the arrangement of the materials (919--928)
    • General introduction (929).--I. OF THE NATURE OF WATER:--The arrangement of Book I (930)
    • Definitions (931.--932)
    • -Of the surface of the water in relation to the globe (933--936)
    • Of the proportion of the mass of water to that of the earth (937--938)
    • The theory of Plato (939)
    • That the flow of rivers proves the slope of the land (940)
    • Theory of the elevation of water within the mountains
    • The relative height of the surface of the sea to that of the land (942--945)
    • II. ON THE OCEAN:--Refutation of Pliny's theory as to the saltness of the sea (946.--947)
    • The characteristics of sea water (948. 949)
    • On the formation of gulfs (950. 951)
    • On the encroachments of the sea on the land and vice versa (952--954)
    • The ebb and flow of the tide (955--960)
    • III. SUBTERRANEAN WATER COURSES:--Theory of the circulation of the waters (961. 962)
    • Observations in support of the hypothesis (963--969)
    • V. OF RIVERS:--On the way in which the sources of rivers are fed (970)
    • The tide in estuaries (975)
    • On the alterations caused in the courses of rivers by their confluence (972--974).--Whirlpools (975)
    • On the alterations in the channels of rivers (976)
    • The origin of sand in rivers (977. 978)
    • V. ON MOUNTAINS:--The formation of mountains (979-983)
    • The authorities for the study of the structure of the earth (984)
    • VI. GEOLOGICAL PROBLEMS:--Programme (985)
    • Doubts about the Deluge (986)
    • That marine shells could not go up the mountains (987)
    • The marine shells were not produced away from the sea (988)
    • Further researches (989--991)
    • Other problems (992--994)
    • VII. On the atmosphere:--Constituents of the atmosphere (995)
    • On the motion of air (996--999)
    • The globe an organism (1000)

    XVII

    TOPOGRAPHICAL NOTES

    • Canals in connection with the Arno (1001--I008)
    • Canals in the Milanese (1009-1013)
    • Estimates and preparatory studies for canals (1014. 1015.)
    • Notes on buildings at Milan (1016-1019)
    • Remarks on natural phenomena in and near Milan (1021. 1022)
    • Note on Pavia (1023)
    • Notes on the Sforzesca near Vigevano (1024--1028)
    • Notes on the North Italian lakes (1029--1033)
    • Notes on places in Central Italy, visited in 1502 (1034--1054)
    • Alessandria in Piedmont (1055. 1056)
    • The Alps (1057-1062)
    • The Appenines (1063-1068)
    • II. FRANCE (069-1079)
    • On the Germans (1080. 1081).--The Danube (1082)
    • The straits of Gibraltar (1083- 035)
    • Tunis (1086)
    • Libya (1087).--Majorca (1088).--The Tyrrhene Sea (1089)
    • V. THE LEVANT.--The Levantine Sea (1090)
    • The Red Sea (1091. 1092).--The Nile (1093-1098)
    • -Customs of Asiatic Nations (1099. 1100)
    • -Rhodes (1101. 1102).--Cyprus (1103. 1104)
    • The Caspian Sea (1105. 1106).--The sea of Azov (1107)
    • -The Dardanelles (1108).--Constantinople (110)
    • The Euphrates (1110)
    • Central Asia (1111)
    • -On the natives of hot countries (1112)


    XVIII

    NAVAL WARFARE.--MECHANICAL APPLIANCES.--MUSIC

    •  The ship's log of Vitruvius, of Alberti and of Leonardo (1113)
    • Methods of staying and moving in waters (1114)
    • On naval warfare (1115. 1116).
    • The use of swimming belts (1117)
    • On the gravity of water (1118)
    • Diving apparatus and skating (1119--1121)
    • On flying-machines (1122--1126)
    • On mining (1127)
    • On Greek fire (1128)
    • On music (1129. 1130)


    XIX

    PHILOSOPHICAL MAXIMS. MORALS. POLEMICS AND SPECULATIONS

    • Prayers to God (1132. 1133)
    • The powers of Nature (1134-1139)
    • Psychology (1140--1147)
    • Science, its principles and rules (1148-1161)




    MORALS

    • What is life? (1162. 1163)
    • Death (1164).--How to spend life (1165-1179)
    • On foolishness and ignorance (1180--1182).
    • On riches (1183--1187).--Rules of life (1188--1202)
    • Politics (1203. 1204)




    POLEMICS.--SPECULATION

    • Against speculators (1205. 1206)
    • Against alchemists (1207. 1208)
    • Against friars (1209)
    • Against writers of epitomes (1210)
    • On spirits (1211-1215).--Nonentity (1216)
    • Reflections on Nature (1217-1219)

     ANIMALS

    • Studies on the Life and Habits of Animals (1220--1264).
    • Fables on animals (1265-1270)



    Humorous Writings 


    • Fables on lifeless objects (1271--1274)
    • Fables On plants (1275-1279
    • Jests and Tales (1280--1292).




    IV

    PROPHECIES

    • Prophecies (1293--1313)
    • Schemes for Fables  (1314-1323)
    • Schemes for Prophecies (1324-1329)
    • Irony (1331. 1332)
    • Tricks (1333--1335)



    XXI


    LETTERS. PERSONAL RECORDS. DATED NOTES

    • Draughts of letters and reports referring to Armenia (1336. 1337)
    • Notes about adventures abroad (1338. 1339)
    • Draughts of letters to Lodovico il Moro (1340-1345)
    • Draught of letter to a Commission at Piacenza (1346 to 1347)
    • Letter to the Cardinal Ippolito d'Este (1348)
    • Draught of letter to the French Governor of Milan (1349)
    • Draughts of letters to the Superintendent of canals and to Melzi (1350)
    • Draughts of letter to Giuliano de' Medici (1351. 1352)
    • Draught of a letter written at Rome (1353)
    • A fanciful letter (1354)
    • Miscellaneous draughts of letters and personal records (1355 to 1368)
    • Notes bearing dates (1369-1378)


    XXII


    MISCELLANEOUS NOTES


    •  Memoranda of unknown dates (1435-1457)
    • Notes on pupils and artisans (1458--1468)
    • Memoranda before the year 1500 (1379-1413)
    • Memoranda after the year 1500 (1414--1434)


    Miscellaneous Notes II

    • Quotations and notes on books and authors (1469--1508)
    • Inventories and Accounts (1509--1545)
    • Notes in unknown handwriting among the Manuscripts (1546--5565)
    • Leonardo's will (1566).