Leonardo da Vinci's note-books

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Empire State Book Company, 1923 - Biography & Autobiography - 289 pages
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LEONARDO DA VINCIS NOTE-BOOKS Arranged and rendered into English with Introductions BY EDWARD M C CURDY, M. A. NEW YORK KMPIRK STATE BOOK COMPANY 1923 Copyright h Empirt State Book Company i Turin LEONARDO DA VINCI DHAWN BV HIMSRI. K AVANT PROPOS There are many books of which it may be said that the world will survive their loss, and there are others so replete with inspiration that they should be in the hands of every student of human progress for, when it is granted to us to become acquainted, even to a small extent, with the lives and efforts of those to whom the world is indebted, when we have placed before us the record of courageous struggle, of unwavering fortitude, we are often led to imitate and strive in accordance with the example set before us, and so bring to a successful termination what before promised to be defeat. There is another advantage as well that comes t from the study of these intimate records of a mans life the broadening of the mental horizon as we strive to grasp the underlying motives that have pro duced such application, such devotion, to aims and ideals that, for the majority of us, have little or no drawing power. The very effort we make to under stand the force that has commanded such self sacrificing consecration to an end that has no attrac tion for us, brings us within the circle, and conse quently, the influence of a new life, new vistas arc open before us, and as we assimilate and grow we achieve one of the greatest things in life we grow into furuier understanding of the infinite world of the human heart, we see things from a different angle and the sympathies once limited to a narrow sphere, have broadened out and embraced yet another truth. So inplacing once more before the reading Public the Note Books of Leonardo da Vinci, we feel that we are performing a service for which that Public will feel grateful. The careful study of the work of one who stands out as one of the worlds greatest intellects, whose prophetic vision was so keen that it has led to his being qualified as the forerunner of many aspects of modern scientific research, can only be of the greatest value to all those who are inter ested in tracing the advance of Human Achievement and in particular, of studying those rare cases where the mind has leaped across the boundaries of the age in which it lived and worked EMPIRE STATE BOOK Co. January, 1923. PREFACE THE manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci afford the chief existing proof of that extraordinary versatility with which he has been credited from the time of his earliest biographers downwards. They comprise the records and results of his studies in the theory of art and in various branches of mathematical and natural science, together with fragments of literary composition of a philosophical or imaginative character, and in addition much personal and biographical matter. The manuscripts in their pre sent form consist of about twenty note-books and bound volumes or collections of loose sheets of various sixes, containing altogether more than four thousand pages. While on many of these there are only drawings or scientific diagrams with at most a few words of comment or explanation, others are covered with minute writing, which with the rarest exceptions is of the character known as c left-handed from the fact of its direction across the page being from right to left, and which is therefore most easily read by the useof a mirror. The contents of these manuscripts, with the exception of such parts as are contained in the compilation known as Leonardos Treatise on fainting have up to the present time only been available to English readers in the edition ri PREFACE selected and edited by Dr. Richter...

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Contents

Introduction i
7
A Record of the Manuscripts
25
Proem
45

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