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Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci laid out in free access

Эскизы, планы, рисунки, концепции и примечания Леонардо да Винчи

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( Italian: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci; April 15, 1452, the village of Anciano, near the town of Vinci, near Florence - May 2, 1519, Chateau-Luce, near Amboise, Touraine, France ) - (Italian) painter, sculptor, architect) and scientist (anatomist, naturalist), inventor, writer, musician, one of the greatest representatives of the art of High Renaissance, a vivid example of the "universal man" ( Latin homo universalis ).

Notebooks of the artist, inventor and thinker Leonardo da Vinci digitized and laid out in free access - before they could only view scientists.

A huge number of records were quoted and laid out in free access. On the website of the London Victoria and Albert Museum, you can see sketches, plans, drawings, concepts and notes by Leonardo da Vinci in good quality.

“Leonardo began to write down his thoughts in notebooks from the mid-1480s, when he worked as a military and naval engineer for the Duke of Milan. None of Da Vinci’s predecessors, contemporaries and followers used paper as he did — one sheet contains an unpredictable sample of ideas and inventions, ” the museum’s website says.

Notebooks are named codes: Codex Forster 1 , Codex Forster 2, and Codex Forster 3 .

Codex Forster 1

Эскизы, планы, рисунки, концепции и примечания Леонардо да Винчи

The first code contains notes on hydraulic engineering and a treatise on the measurement of solids.

Codex Forster 2

Эскизы, планы, рисунки, концепции и примечания Леонардо да Винчи

The second code is two notepads connected to each other.

In one, notes on the theory of proportion are written, various sketches and images are drawn.

In the second book - drawings of scales, recipes of colors and development of helmets.

Codex Forster 3

Эскизы, планы, рисунки, концепции и примечания Леонардо да Винчи

In the third code there is almost everything - from schemes on the geometry and hydraulics of architecture to the anatomy of humans and animals.

Эскизы, планы, рисунки, концепции и примечания Леонардо да Винчи

To date, from the diaries of Leonardo survived about 7,000 pages in different collections. At first, the invaluable notes belonged to the master's favorite student, Francesco Melzi, but when he died, the manuscripts disappeared. Some fragments began to emerge at the turn of the XVIII — XIX centuries, a considerable number of Leonardo's manuscripts were first published by the custodian of the Ambrosian Library, Carlo Amoretti.

At first they did not meet the proper interest. Numerous owners did not even know what treasure fell into their hands. But when scientists established authorship, it turned out that granary books, art criticism essays, anatomical sketches, strange drawings, and research on geology, architecture, hydraulics, geometry, military fortifications, philosophy, optics, and drawing techniques are the fruit of one person.

All entries in the diaries of Leonardo made in a mirror image. Leonardo was ambidextrom - he equally well possessed his right and left hands; they even say that he could simultaneously write different texts with different hands. However, he wrote most of the works with his left hand from right to left. Many people think that in this way he wanted to make his studies secret. Perhaps it is. According to another version, the mirror handwriting was his individual feature (there is even information that it was easier for him to write in a normal way); there is even the concept of "Leonardo's handwriting . "

Achievements of Leonardo da Vinci


Our contemporaries Leonardo is primarily known as an artist. In addition, it is possible that da Vinci could be a sculptor: researchers from the University of Perugia - Giancarlo Gentilini and Carlo Sisi - claim that the terracotta head they found in 1990 is the only sculptural work of Leonardo da Vinci that reached us. However, da Vinci himself at various times in his life considered himself primarily an engineer or a scientist. He gave fine art not a lot of time and worked rather slowly. Therefore, the artistic heritage of Leonardo is not quantitatively large, and a number of his works are lost or badly damaged. However, his contribution to the world artistic culture is extremely important even against the background of the cohort of geniuses that the Italian Renaissance gave. Thanks to his works, the art of painting moved to a qualitatively new stage in its development. The previous Renaissance artists of Leonardo resolutely rejected many conventions of medieval art. It was a movement towards realism and much has already been achieved in the study of perspective, anatomy, greater freedom in composite solutions. But in terms of picturesque, work with paint, the artists were still quite conditional and constrained. The line in the picture clearly delineated the subject, and the image looked like a painted picture. The most conditional was the landscape, which played a secondary role. Leonardo realized and embodied the new painting technique. His line has the right to blur, because this is how we see it. He realized the phenomena of light scattering in the air and the emergence of a sfumato - haze between the viewer and the depicted object, which softens color contrasts and lines. As a result, realism in painting moved to a qualitatively new level.

Leonardo was the first to explain why the sky is blue. In the book "On Painting", he wrote: "The blue of the sky is due to the thicker illuminated particles of air, which is located between the Earth and the blackness above."

Leonardo, apparently, did not leave a single self-portrait, which could have been uniquely attributed to him. Scientists questioned that the famous self-portrait of Leonardo sanguine (traditionally dated to 1512-1515), depicting him in old age, is such. It is believed that perhaps this is just a sketch of the head of the apostle for the "Last Supper". Doubts that this is a self-portrait of the artist, expressed from the XIX century, the latter were recently expressed by one of the greatest specialists in Leonardo, Professor Pietro Marani. Italian scientists have announced the discovery of an early self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. The discovery belongs to the journalist Piero Angela.

Leonardo masterly played the lyre. When the Leonardo case was considered in the court of Milan, he appeared there as a musician, and not as an artist or inventor.

Science and Engineering

His only invention that gained recognition during his lifetime is the wheel lock for a pistol (which was wound up with a key). At the beginning, the wheel pistol was not widely spread, but by the middle of the XVI century it gained popularity among nobles, especially cavalry, which even affected the lat design, namely: Maximilian armor began to be made with gloves instead of gloves for firing pistols. The wheel lock for the pistol, invented by Leonardo da Vinci, was so perfect that it continued to meet in the XIX century.

Leonardo da Vinci was interested in the problem of flight. In Milan, he made many drawings and studied the flying mechanism of birds of different breeds and bats. In addition to observations, he conducted and experiments, but they were all unsuccessful. Leonardo really wanted to build an aircraft. He said: “Who knows everything, he can do everything. If only to find out - and the wings will be! ”.

At first, Leonardo developed the problem of flight with the help of wings set in motion by human muscle power: the idea of ​​the simplest apparatus of Daedalus and Icarus. But then he came to the thought of building such an apparatus to which a person should not be attached, but should maintain complete freedom in order to control it; But the apparatus must set itself in motion by its own power. This is essentially the idea of ​​an airplane.

Leonardo da Vinci worked on the vertical take-off and landing apparatus. On the vertical "ornitottero" Leonardo planned to place a system of retractable ladders. Nature served as an example for him: “Look at the stone swift that sat on the ground and cannot fly because of its short legs; and when it is in flight, pull out the ladder, as shown in the second image from above ... so you need to take off from the plane; these ladders serve as feet ... ". As for the landing, he wrote: “These hooks (concave wedges), which are attached to the base of the stairs, serve the same purposes as the toes of the person who jumps on them, and his whole body is not shaken as if he jumped on his heels.

Leonardo da Vinci proposed the first scheme of the telescope (telescope) with two lenses (now known as the Kepler telescope). In the manuscript of the “Atlantic Codex”, page 190a, there is a note: “Make eyeglasses (ochiali) for the eyes to see the moon big” (Leonardo da Vinci. “LIL Codice Atlantico ...”, I Tavole, S. А. 190a),

Leonardo da Vinci may have for the first time formulated the simplest form of the mass conservation law for the movement of fluids, describing the flow of a river, however, due to the vague formulation and doubts about authenticity, this statement is criticized.

Many reputable historians of science, such as P. Duhem, C. Trusdell, GK Mikhailov, question the originality of a series of da Vinci mechanical results.

During his life, Leonardo da Vinci made thousands of notes and drawings devoted to anatomy, but did not publish his work. Doing an autopsy on the bodies of people and animals, he accurately conveyed the structure of the skeleton and internal organs, including small details. According to the professor of clinical anatomy Peter Abrams, da Vinci’s scientific work outstripped her time by 300 years and in many ways surpassed the famous “Gray Anatomy”.


The list of inventions, both real and attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: Parachute, Wheel lock, Bicycle, Tank, Light portable bridges for the army, Searchlight, Catapult, Robot, Two-lens telescope.


The Creator of the “Last Supper” and “Dzhokondy” also manifested itself as a thinker, realizing early the need for theoretical substantiation of artistic practice: “Those who give practice without knowledge are like a sailor going on a journey without a rudder and compass ... the practice must always be based good knowledge of the theory. "

Demanding from the artist an in-depth study of the objects depicted, Leonardo da Vinci recorded all his observations in a notebook that he constantly carried with him. The result was a kind of intimate diary, the like of which is not in all of world literature. Drawings, drawings and sketches are accompanied here with brief notes on perspective, architecture, music, science, military engineering, and the like; All this is peppered with a variety of sayings, philosophical arguments, allegories, anecdotes, fables. In the aggregate, the records of these 120 books provide materials for a vast encyclopedia. However, he did not seek to publish his thoughts, and even resorted to cryptography, a complete decoding of his records has not yet been done.

Recognizing experience as the sole criterion of truth and opposing the method of observation and induction to abstract speculation, Leonardo da Vinci not only in words, but in fact deals a mortal blow to medieval scholasticism with its addiction to abstract logical formulas and deduction. For Leonardo da Vinci it is good to speak - it means to think correctly, that is, to think independently, like the ancients, who did not recognize any authority. So Leonardo da Vinci comes to the denial of not only scholasticism, this echo of feudal-medieval culture, but also of humanism, a product of still fragile bourgeois thought, frozen in superstitious worship of the authority of the ancients. Denying book scholarship, declaring the task of science (as well as art) the cognition of things, Leonardo da Vinci anticipates Montaigne's attacks on scholarly scholars and opens the era of new science a hundred years before Galileo and Bacon.

... The sciences that are not generated by experience, the father of all authenticity, and are not completed in visual experience ... are empty and full of delusions ...
No human study can be called a true science if it has not passed through mathematical proofs. And if you say that the sciences, which begin and end in thought, have truth, then you cannot agree with you ... because experience does not participate in such purely mental reasoning, without which there is no certainty.

Literary heritage

The enormous literary heritage of Leonardo da Vinci has reached our days in a chaotic way, in manuscripts written in his left hand. Although Leonardo da Vinci did not publish a single line of them, however, in his notes he constantly turned to the imaginary reader and during the last years of his life did not leave the thought of publishing his works.

Already after the death of Leonardo da Vinci, his friend and pupil Francesco Melzi chose pieces from them relating to painting, of which the Treatise on Painting was subsequently put together (Trattato della pittura, 1st ed., 1651). In its full form, the handwritten heritage of Leonardo da Vinci was published only in the 19th — 20th centuries. In addition to its enormous scientific and historical significance, it also has artistic value due to its concise, energetic syllable and unusually pure language. Living in the heyday of humanism, when Italian was considered secondary in comparison with Latin, Leonardo da Vinci admired his contemporaries with the beauty and expressiveness of his speech (according to legend, he was a good improviser), but did not consider himself a writer and wrote, as he said; his prose is therefore a sample of the spoken language of the 15th century intelligentsia, and it saved her as a whole from the artificiality and greatness inherent in the prose of humanists, although in some passages of the didactic writings of Leonardo da Vinci we find echoes of the pathos of the humanistic style.

Even in the least “poetic” by design fragments, the syllable of Leonardo da Vinci is distinguished by vivid imagery; thus, his "Treatise on Painting" is equipped with magnificent descriptions (for example, the famous description of the flood), striking with the skill of verbal transmission of pictorial and plastic images. Along with descriptions in which the painter’s manner is felt, Leonardo da Vinci gives many examples of narrative prose in his manuscripts: fables, faciesisms (humorous stories), aphorisms, allegories, prophecies. In fables and facies, Leonardo stands at the level of fourteenth-century prose writers with their ingenuous practical morality; and some of his facies are indistinguishable from Saketti's short stories.

Allegories and prophecies have a more fantastic character: in the first Leonardo da Vinci uses the techniques of medieval encyclopedias and bestiaries; the latter are in the nature of humorous riddles, distinguished by the brightness and accuracy of phraseology and imbued with caustic, almost Voltaire irony directed at the famous preacher Girolamo Savonarola. Finally, in aphorisms Leonardo da Vinci expressed in epigrammatic form his philosophy of nature, his thoughts about the inner essence of things. Fiction had for him a purely utilitarian, auxiliary value.

A special place in the artist's heritage is occupied by the treatise “On the game of chess” (Latin “De Ludo Schacorum”) - the book of the Italian monk-mathematician Luke Bartolomeo Pacioli from the Holy Sepulcher in the Latin language. The treatise is also known under the name "Driving Off Boredom" (lat. "Schifanoia"). Some of the illustrations to the treatise are attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and some researchers claim that they have drawn up some chess problems from this collection.

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