The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci: Volume 1

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci: Volume 1

Paperback Dover Fine Art, History of Art Language: English / Italian

By (author) Leonardo da Vinci

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  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
  • Format: Paperback | 396 pages
  • Language: English / Italian
  • Dimensions: 198mm x 269mm x 25mm | 953g
  • Publication date: 1 November 1989
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0486225720
  • ISBN 13: 9780486225722
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 386,783

Product description

Throughout his life Leonardo da Vinci carried notebooks in which he scribbled down ideas and opinions as they occurred - personal, domestic, scientific, philosophical, artistic - frequently accompanied by explanatory sketches and diagrams. Surviving manuscripts contain drafts of letters, fanciful fables, rough treatises on the art of painting or the power of water, descriptions of the Medici courts, even jokes. The present selection gives coherence to this rich kaleidoscope of ideas. From it emerges the portrait of a true Renaissance man, whose habit of rigorous enquiry, observation, and experiment, grounded on a philosophic system, led him to conceive of the universe as an organized cosmos corresponding to a work of art.

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Scientist, painter, mechanical engineer, sculptor, thinker, city planner, storyteller, musician, architect--Leonardo da Vinci, builder of the first flying machine, was one of the great universal geniuses of Western civilization. His voluminous notebooks, the great storehouse of his theories and discoveries, are presented here in 1566 extracts that reveal the full range of Leonardo's versatile interest: all the important writings on painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, astronomy, geography, topography, and other fields are included, in both Italian and English, with 186 plates of manuscript pages and many other drawings reproduced in facsimile size. The first volume, which contains all of Leonardo's writings on aspects of painting, includes discussions of such basic scientific areas as the structure of the eye and vision, perspective, the science of light and shade, the perspective of disappearance, theory of color, perspective of color, proportions and movements of the human figure, botany for painters, and the elements of landscape painting. A section on the practice of painting includes moral precepts for painters and writings on composition, materials, and the philosophy of art. The second volume contains writings on sculpture, architecture (plans for towns, streets, and canals, churches, palaces, castles, and villas, theoretical writings on arches, domes, fissures, etc.), zoology, physiology (including his amazingly accurate theories of blood circulation), medicine, astronomy, geography (including has famous writings and drawings on the movement of water), topography (observations in Italy, France, and other areas), naval warfare, swimming, theory of flying machines, mining, music, and other topics. A selection of philosophical maxims, morals, polemics, fables, jests, studies in the lives and habits of animals, tales, and prophecies display Leonardo's abilities as a writer and scholar. The second volume also contains some letters, personal records, inventories, and accounts, and concludes with Leonardo's will. The drawings include sketches and studies for some of Leonardo's greatest works of art--"The Last Supper," the lost "Battle of Anghiari," "The Virgin of the Rocks," and the destroyed Sforza monument.

Table of contents

I. PROLEGOMENA AND GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK ON PAINTING     Clavis Sigillorum and Index of Manuscripts.?The author's intention to publish his MSS.     The preparation of the MSS. for publication     Admonition to readers     The disorder in the MSS     Suggestions for the arrangement of MSS. Treating of particular subjects     General introduction to the book on painting     The plan of the book on painting     The use of the book on painting     Necessity of the theoretical knowledge     The function of the eye     Variability of the eye     Focus of sight     Differences of perception by one eye and by both eyes     The comparative size of the image depends on the amount of light II. LINEAR PERSPECTIVE     General remarks on perspective     The elements of perspective:?of the point     Of the line     The nature of the outline     Definition of perspective     The perception of the object depends on the direction of the eye     Experimental proof of the existence of the pyramid of sight     The relations of the distance point to the vanishing point     How to measure the pyramid of vision     The production of the pyramid of vision     Proof by experiment     General conclusions     That the contrary is impossible     A parallel case     "The function of the eye, as explained by the camera obscura"     The practice of perspective     Refraction of the rays falling upon the eye     The inversion of the images     The intersection of the rays     Demonstration of perspective by means of a vertical glass plane     The angle of sight varies with the distance     Opposite pyramids in juxtaposition     On simple and complex perspective     The proper distance of objects from the eye     The relative size of objects with regard to their distance from the eye     The apparent size of objects defined by calculation     On natural perspective III. SIX BOOKS ON LIGHT AND SHADE     GENERAL INTRODUCTION.       Prolegomena       Scheme of the books on light and shade       Different principles and plans of treatment       Different sorts of light       Definition of the nature of shadows       Of the various kinds of shadows       Of the various kinds of light       General remarks     FIRST BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.       On the nature of light       The difference between light and lustre       The relations of luminous to illuminated bodies       Experiments on the relation of light and shadow within a room       Light and shadow with regard to the position of the eye       The law of the incidence of light     SECOND BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.       Gradations of strength in the shadows       On the intensity of shadows as dependent on the distance from the light       On the proportion of light and shadow     THIRD BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.       Definition of derived shadow       Different sorts of derived shadows       On the relation of derived and primary shadow       On the shape of derived shadows       On the relativity intensity of derived shadows       Shadow as produced by two lights of different size       The effect of light at different distances       Further complications in the derived shadows     FOURTH BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.       On the shape of cast shadows       On the outlines of cast shadows       On the relative size of cast shadows       Effects on cast shadows by the tone of the back ground       A disputed proposition       On the relative depth of cast shadows     FIFTH BOOK ON LIGHT AND SHADE.       Principles of reflection       On reverberation       Reflection on water       Experiments with the mirror       Appendix:?On shadows in movement     SIXTH BOOK LIGHT AND SHADE.       The effect of rays passing through holes       On gradation of shadows       On relative proportion of light and shadows IV. PERSPECTIVE OF DISAPPEARANCE     Definition     An illustration by experiment     A guiding rule     An experiment     On indistinctness at short distances     On indistinctness at great distances     The importance of light and shade in the Prospettiva de' perdimenti     The effect of light or dark backgrounds on the apparent size of objects     Propositions on Prospettiva de' perdimenti from MS. C. V. THEORY OF COLOURS     The reciprocal effects of colours on objects placed opposite each other     Combination of different colours in cast shadows     The effect of colours in the camera obscura     On the colours of derived shadows     On the nature of colours     On gradations in the depth of colours     On the reflection of colours     On the use of dark and light colours in painting     On the colours of the rainbow VI. PERSPECTIVE OF COLOUR AND AERIAL PERSPECTIVE     General rules     An exceptional case     An experiment     The practice of the Prospettiva de' colori     The rules of aerial perspective     On the relative density of the atmosphere     On the colour of the atmosphere VII. ON THE PROPORTIONS AND ON THE MOVEMENTS OF THE HUMAN FIGURE     Preliminary observations     Proportions of the head and face     Proportions of the head seen in front     Proportions of the foot     Relative proportions of the hand and foot     Relative proportions of the foot and of the face     Proportions of the leg     On the central point of the whole body     The relative proportions of the torso and of the whole figure     The relative proportions of the head and of the torso     The relative proportions of the torso and of the leg     The relative proportions of the torso and of the foot     The proportions of the whole figure     The torso from the front and back     Vitruvius' scheme of proportions     The arm and head     Proportions of the arm     The movement of the arm &       The study of the antique       The necessity of anatomical knowledge       How to acquire practice       Industry and thoroughness the first conditions       The artist's private life and choice of company       The distribution of time for studying       On the productive power of minor artists       A caution against one-sided study       How to acquire universality       Useful games and exercises   II. THE ARTIST'S STUDIO.?INSTRUMENTS AND HELPS FOR THE APPLICATION OF PERSPECTIVE.?ON JUDGING OF A PICTURE.       On the size of the studio       On the construction of windows       On the best light for painting       On various helps in preparing a picture       On the management of works       On the limitations of painting       On the choice of a position       The apparent size of figures in a picture       "The right position of the artist, when painting and of spectator"   III. THE PRACTICAL METHODS OF LIGHT AND SHADE AND AËRIAL PERSPECTIVE       Gradations of light and shade       On the choice of light for a picture       The distribution of light and shade       The juxtaposition of light and shade       On the lighting of the background       On the lighting of white objects       The methods of aërial perspective   IV. OF PORTRAIT AND FIGURE PAINTING.       Of sketching figures and portraits       The position of the head       Of the light on the face       General suggestions for historical pictures       How to represent the differences of age and sex       Of representing the emotions       Of representing imaginary animals       The selection of forms       How to pose figures       Of appropriate gestures   V. SUGGESTIONS FOR COMPOSITIONS.       Of painting battle-pieces       Of depicting night-scenes       Of depicting a tempest       Of representing the deluge       Of depicting natural phenomena   VI. THE ARTIST'S MATERIALS.       Of chalk and paper       On the preparation and use of colours       Of preparing the panel       The preparation of oils       On varnishes       On chemical materials   VII. PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY OF THE ART OF PAINTING.       The relation of art and nature       Painting is superior to poetry       Painting is superior to sculpture       Aphorisms       On the history of painting       The painter's scope   X. STUDIES AND SKETCHES FOR PICTURES AND DECORATIONS       On pictures of the Madonna       Bernardo di Bandino's portrait       Notes on the Last Supper       On the battle of Anghiari       Allegorical representations referring to the duke of Milan       Allegorical representations       Arrangement of a picture       List of drawings       Mottoes and Emblems   REFERENCE TABLE TO THE NUMERICAL ORDER OF THE CHAPTERS