Part 8 out of 16
And for the stone on which the figure lies which is 3 br. and 4 in.
long and 1 br. and 2 in., wide and 4 1/2 in. thick duc. 16.
And for the squares of marble placed between the pedestals which are
8 and are 9 br. long and 9 in. wide, and 3 in. thick, 8
hundredweight . . . duc. 8. in all. . duc. 389.
Cost of the work in marble.
Round the base on which the horse stands there are 8 figures at 25
ducats each ............ duc. 200.
And on the same base there are 8 festoons with some other ornaments,
and of these there are 4 at the price of 15 ducats each, and 4 at
the price of 8 ducats each ....... duc. 92.
And for squaring the stones duc. 6.
Again, for the large cornice which goes below the base on which the
horse stands, which is 13 br. and 6 in., at 2 due. per br. ......
And for 12 br. of frieze at 5 due. per br. ........... duc. 60.
And for 12 br. of architrave at 1 1/2 duc. per br. ....... duc. 18.
And for 3 rosettes which will be the soffit of the monument, at 20
ducats each .......... duc. 60.
And for 8 fluted columns at 8 ducats each ......... duc. 64.
And for 8 bases at 1 ducat each, duc. 8.
And for 8 pedestals, of which 4 are at 10 duc. each, which go above
the angles; and 4 at 6 duc. each .. duc. 64.
And for squaring and carving the moulding of the pedestals at 2 duc.
each, and there are 8 .... duc. 16.
And for 6 square blocks with figures and trophies, at 25 duc. each
.. duc. 150.
And for carving the moulding of the stone under the figure of the
deceased .......... duc. 40.
For the statue of the deceased, to do it well .......... duc. 100.
For 6 harpies with candelabra, at 25 ducats each ......... duc. 150.
For squaring the stone on which the statue lies, and carving the
moulding ............ duc. 20.
in all .. duc. 1075.
The sum total of every thing added together amount to ...... duc.
MINT AT ROME.
It can also be made without a spring. But the screw above must
always be joined to the part of the movable sheath: [Margin note:
The mint of Rome.] [Footnote: See Pl. LXXVI. This passage is taken
from a note book which can be proved to have been used in Rome.]
All coins which do not have the rim complete, are not to be accepted
as good; and to secure the perfection of their rim it is requisite
that, in the first place, all the coins should be a perfect circle;
and to do this a coin must before all be made perfect in weight, and
size, and thickness. Therefore have several plates of metal made of
the same size and thickness, all drawn through the same gauge so as
to come out in strips. And out of  these strips you will stamp
the coins, quite round, as sieves are made for sorting chestnuts
; and these coins can then be stamped in the way indicated
 The hollow of the die must be uniformly wider than the lower,
but imperceptibly .
This cuts the coins perfectly round and of the exact thickness, and
weight; and saves the man who cuts and weighs, and the man who makes
the coins round. Hence it passes only through the hands of the
gauger and of the stamper, and the coins are very superior.
[Footnote: See Pl. LXXVI No. 2. The text of lines 31-35 stands
parallel 1. 24-27.
Farther evidence of Leonardo's occupations and engagements at Rome
under Pope Leo X. may be gathered from some rough copies of letters
which will be found in this volume. Hitherto nothing has been known
of his work in Rome beyond some doubtful, and perhaps mythical,
statements in Vasari.]
POWDER FOR MEDALS.
The incombustible growth of soot on wicks reduced to powder, burnt
tin and all the metals, alum, isinglass, smoke from a brass forge,
each ingredient to be moistened, with aqua vitae or malmsey or
strong malt vinegar, white wine or distilled extract of turpentine,
or oil; but there should be little moisture, and cast in moulds.
[Margin note: On the coining of medals (727. 728).] [Footnote: The
meaning of _scagliuolo_ in this passage is doubtful.]
OF TAKING CASTS OF MEDALS.
A paste of emery mixed with aqua vitae, or iron filings with
vinegar, or ashes of walnut leaves, or ashes of straw very finely
[Footnote: The meaning of _scagliuolo_ in this passage is doubtful.]
The diameter is given in the lead enclosed; it is beaten with a
hammer and several times extended; the lead is folded and kept
wrapped up in parchment so that the powder may not be spilt; then
melt the lead, and the powder will be on the top of the melted lead,
which must then be rubbed between two plates of steel till it is
thoroughly pulverised; then wash it with aqua fortis, and the
blackness of the iron will be dissolved leaving the powder clean.
Emery in large grains may be broken by putting it on a cloth many
times doubled, and hit it sideways with the hammer, when it will
break up; then mix it little by little and it can be founded with
ease; but if you hold it on the anvil you will never break it, when
it is large.
Any one who grinds smalt should do it on plates of tempered steel
with a cone shaped grinder; then put it in aqua fortis, which melts
away the steel that may have been worked up and mixed with the
smalt, and which makes it black; it then remains purified and clean;
and if you grind it on porphyry the porphyry will work up and mix
with the smalt and spoil it, and aqua fortis will never remove it
because it cannot dissolve the porphyry.
If you want a fine blue colour dissolve the smalt made with tartar,
and then remove the salt.
Vitrified brass makes a fine red.
Place stucco over the prominence of the..... which may be composed
of Venus and Mercury, and lay it well over that prominence of the
thickness of the side of a knife, made with the ruler and cover this
with the bell of a still, and you will have again the moisture with
which you applied the paste. The rest you may dry [Margin note: On
stucco (729. 730).] [Footnote: In this passage a few words have been
written in a sort of cipher--that is to say backwards; as in l. 3
_erenev_ for _Venere_, l. 4 _oirucrem_ for Mercurio, l. 12 _il
orreve co ecarob_ for _il everro (?) co borace_. The meaning of the
word before _"di giesso"_ in l. 1 is unknown; and the sense, in
which _sagoma_ is used here and in other passages is obscure.--
_Venere_ and _Mercurio_ may mean 'marble' and 'lime', of which
stucco is composed.
12. The meaning of _orreve_ is unknown.]
well; afterwards fire it, and beat it or burnish it with a good
burnisher, and make it thick towards the side.
Powder ... with borax and water to a paste, and make stucco of it,
and then heat it so that it may dry, and then varnish it, with fire,
so that it shines well.
STUCCO FOR MOULDING.
Take of butter 6 parts, of wax 2 parts, and as much fine flour as
when put with these 2 things melted, will make them as firm as wax
or modelling clay.
Take mastic, distilled turpentine and white lead.
On bronze casting generally (731-740).
Tartar burnt and powdered with plaster and cast cause the plaster to
hold together when it is mixed up again; and then it will dissolve
TO CAST BRONZE IN PLASTER.
Take to every 2 cups of plaster 1 of ox-horns burnt, mix them
together and make your cast with it.
When you want to take a cast in wax, burn the scum with a candle,
and the cast will come out without bubbles.
2 ounces of plaster to a pound of metal;-- walnut, which makes it
like the curve.
[Footnote: The second part of this is quite obscure.]
[Dried earth 16 pounds, 100 pounds of metal wet clay 20,--of wet
100,-half,- which increases 4 Ibs. of water,--1 of wax, 1 Ib. of
metal, a little less,-the scrapings of linen with earth, measure for
measure.] [Footnote: The translation is given literally, but the
meaning is quite obscure.]
Such as the mould is, so will the cast be.
HOW CASTS OUGHT TO BE POLISHED.
Make a bunch of iron wire as thick as thread, and scrub them with
[this and] water; hold a bowl underneath that it may not make a mud
HOW TO REMOVE THE ROUGH EDGES FROM BRONZE.
Make an iron rod, after the manner of a large chisel, and with this
rub over those seams on the bronze which remain on the casts of the
guns, and which are caused by the joins in the mould; but make the
tool heavy enough, and let the strokes be long and broad.
TO FACILITATE MELTING.
First alloy part of the metal in the crucible, then put it in the
furnace, and this being in a molten state will assist in beginning
to melt the copper.
TO PREVENT THE COPPER COOLING IN THE FURNACE.
When the copper cools in the furnace, be ready, as soon as you
perceive it, to cut it with a long stick while it is still in a
paste; or if it is quite cold cut it as lead is cut with broad and
IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE A LARGE CAST.
If you have to make a cast of a hundred thousand pounds do it with
two furnaces and with 2000 pounds in each, or as much as 3000 pounds
HOW TO PROCEED TO BREAK A LARGE MASS OF BRONZE.
If you want to break up a large mass of bronze, first suspend it,
and then make round it a wall on the four sides, like a trough of
bricks, and make a great fire therein. When it is quite red hot give
it a blow with a heavy weight raised above it, and with great force.
TO COMBINE LEAD WITH OTHER METAL.
If you wish for economy in combining lead with the metal in order to
lessen the amount of tin which is necessary in the metal, first
alloy the lead with the tin and then add the molten copper.
How TO MELT [METAL] IN A FURNACE.
The furnace should be between four well founded pillars.
OF THE THICKNESS OF THE COATING.
The coating should not be more than two fingers thick, it should be
laid on in four thicknesses over fine clay and then well fixed, and
it should be fired only on the inside and then carefully covered
with ashes and cow's dung.
OF THE THICKNESS OF THE GUN.
The gun being made to carry 600 Ibs. of ball and more, by this rule
you will take the measure of the diameter of the ball and divide it
into 6 parts and one of these parts will be its thickness at the
muzzle; but at the breech it must always be half. And if the ball is
to be 700 lbs., 1/7th of the diameter of the ball must be its
thickness in front; and if the ball is to be 800, the eighth of its
diameter in front; and if 900, 1/8th and 1/2 [3/16], and if 1000,
OF THE LENGTH OF THE BODY OF THE GUN.
If you want it to throw a ball of stone, make the length of the gun
to be 6, or as much as 7 diameters of the ball; and if the ball is
to be of iron make it as much as 12 balls, and if the ball is to be
of lead, make it as much as 18 balls. I mean when the gun is to have
the mouth fitted to receive 600 lbs. of stone ball, and more.
OF THE THICKNESS OF SMALL GUNS.
The thickness at the muzzle of small guns should be from a half to
one third of the diameter of the ball, and the length from 30 to 36
OF LUTING THE FURNACE WITHIN.
The furnace must be luted before you put the metal in it, with earth
from Valenza, and over that with ashes.
[Footnote 1. 2.: _Terra di Valenza_.--Valenza is north of
Alessandria on the Po.]
OF RESTORING THE METAL WHEN IT IS BECOMING COOL.
When you see that the bronze is congealing take some willow-wood cut
in small chips and make up the fire with it.
THE CAUSE OF ITS CURDLING.
I say that the cause of this congealing often proceeds from too much
fire, or from ill-dried wood.
TO KNOW THE CONDITION OF THE FIRE.
You may know when the fire is good and fit for your purpose by a
clear flame, and if you see the tips of the flames dull and ending
in much smoke do not trust it, and particularly when the flux metal
is almost fluid.
OF ALLOYING THE METAL.
Metal for guns must invariably be made with 6 or even 8 per cent,
that is 6 of tin to one hundred of copper, for the less you put in,
the stronger will the gun be.
WHEN THE TIN SHOULD BE ADDED TO THE COPPER.
The tin should be put in with the copper when the copper is reduced
to a fluid.
HOW TO HASTEN THE MELTING.
You can hasten the melting when 2/3ds of the copper is fluid; you
can then, with a stick of chestnut-wood, repeatedly stir what of
copper remains entire amidst what is melted.
_Introductory Observations on the Architectural Designs (XII), and
Writings on Architecture (XIII)._
_Until now very little has been known regarding Leonardo's labours
in the domain of Architecture. No building is known to have been
planned and executed by him, though by some contemporary writers
incidental allusion is made to his occupying himself with
architecture, and his famous letter to Lodovico il Moro,--which has
long been a well-known document,--in which he offers his service as
an architect to that prince, tends to confirm the belief that he was
something more than an amateur of the art. This hypothesis has
lately been confirmed by the publication of certain documents,
preserved at Milan, showing that Leonardo was not only employed in
preparing plans but that he took an active part, with much credit,
as member of a commission on public buildings; his name remains
linked with the history of the building of the Cathedral at Pavia
and that of the Cathedral at Milan._
_Leonardo's writings on Architecture are dispersed among a large
number of MSS., and it would be scarcely possible to master their
contents without the opportunity of arranging, sorting and comparing
the whole mass of materials, so as to have some comprehensive idea
of the whole. The sketches, when isolated and considered by
themselves, might appear to be of but little value; it is not till
we understand their general purport, from comparing them with each
other, that we can form any just estimate of their true worth._
_Leonardo seems to have had a project for writing a complete and
separate treatise on Architecture, such as his predecessors and
contemporaries had composed--Leon Battista Alberti, Filarete,
Francesco di Giorgio and perhaps also Bramante. But, on the other
hand, it cannot be denied that possibly no such scheme was connected
with the isolated notes and researches, treating on special
questions, which are given in this work; that he was merely working
at problems in which, for some reason or other he took a special
_A great number of important buildings were constructed in Lombardy
during the period between 1472 and 1499, and among them there are
several by unknown architects, of so high an artistic merit, that it
is certainly not improbable that either Bramante or Leonardo da
Vinci may have been, directly or indirectly, concerned in their
_Having been engaged, for now nearly twenty years, in a thorough
study of Bramante's life and labours, I have taken a particular
interest in detecting the distinguishing marks of his style as
compared with Leonardo's. In 1869 I made researches about the
architectural drawings of the latter in the Codex Atlanticus at
Milan, for the purpose of finding out, if possible the original
plans and sketches of the churches of Santa Maria delle Grazie at
Milan, and of the Cathedral at Pavia, which buildings have been
supposed to be the work both of Bramante and of Leonardo. Since 1876
I have repeatedly examined Leonardo's architectural studies in the
collection of his manuscripts in the Institut de France, and some of
these I have already given to the public in my work on_ "Les Projets
Primitifs pour la Basilique de St. Pierre de Rome", _P1. 43. In 1879
I had the opportunity of examining the manuscript in the Palazzo
Trivulzio at Milan, and in 1880 Dr Richter showed me in London the
manuscripts in the possession of Lord Ashburnham, and those in the
British Museum. I have thus had opportunities of seeing most of
Leonardo's architectural drawings in the original, but of the
manuscripts tliemselves I have deciphered only the notes which
accompany the sketches. It is to Dr Richter's exertions that we owe
the collected texts on Architecture which are now published, and
while he has undertaken to be responsible for the correct reading of
the original texts, he has also made it his task to extract the
whole of the materials from the various MSS. It has been my task to
arrange and elucidate the texts under the heads which have been
adopted in this work. MS. B. at Paris and the Codex Atlanticus at
Milan are the chief sources of our knowledge of Leonardo as an
architect, and I have recently subjected these to a thorough
re-investigation expressly with a view to this work._
_A complete reproduction of all Leonardo's architectural sketches
has not, indeed, been possible, but as far as the necessarily
restricted limits of the work have allowed, the utmost completeness
has been aimed at, and no efforts have been spared to include every
thing that can contribute to a knowledge of Leonardo's style. It
would have been very interesting, if it had been possible, to give
some general account at least of Leonardo's work and studies in
engineering, fortification, canal-making and the like, and it is
only on mature reflection that we have reluctantly abandoned this
idea. Leonardo's occupations in these departments have by no means
so close a relation to literary work, in the strict sense of the
word as we are fairly justified in attributing to his numerous notes
_Leonardo's architectural studies fall naturally under two heads:_
_I. Those drawings and sketches, often accompanied by short remarks
and explanations, which may be regarded as designs for buildings or
monuments intended to be built. With these there are occasionally
_II. Theoretical investigations and treatises. A special interest
attaches to these because they discuss a variety of questions which
are of practical importance to this day. Leonardo's theory as to the
origin and progress of cracks in buildings is perhaps to be
considered as unique in its way in the literature of Architecture._
_HENRY DE GEYMULLER_
_I. Plans for towns._
_A. Sketches for laying out a new town with a double system of high-
level and low-level road-ways._
_Pl. LXXVII, No. 1 (MS. B, 15b). A general view of a town, with the
roads outside it sloping up to the high-level ways within._
_Pl. LXXVII, No. 3 (MS. B, 16b. see No. 741; and MS. B. 15b, see No.
742) gives a partial view of the town, with its streets and houses,
with explanatory references._
_Pl. LXXVII, No. 2 (MS. B, 15b; see No. 743). View of a double
staircaise with two opposite flights of steps._
_Pl. LXXVIII, Nos. 2 and 3 (MS. B, 37a). Sketches illustrating the
connection of the two levels of roads by means of steps. The lower
galleries are lighted by openings in the upper roadway._
_B. Notes on removing houses (MS. Br. M., 270b, see No. 744)._
The roads _m_ are 6 braccia higher than the roads _p s_, and each
road must be 20 braccia wide and have 1/2 braccio slope from the
sides towards the middle; and in the middle let there be at every
braccio an opening, one braccio long and one finger wide, where the
rain water may run off into hollows made on the same level as _p s_.
And on each side at the extremity of the width of the said road let
there be an arcade, 6 braccia broad, on columns; and understand that
he who would go through the whole place by the high level streets
can use them for this purpose, and he who would go by the low level
can do the same. By the high streets no vehicles and similar objects
should circulate, but they are exclusively for the use of gentlemen.
The carts and burdens for the use and convenience of the inhabitants
have to go by the low ones. One house must turn its back to the
other, leaving the lower streets between them. Provisions, such as
wood, wine and such things are carried in by the doors _n_, and
privies, stables and other fetid matter must be emptied away
underground. From one arch to the next
must be 300 braccia, each street receiving its light through the
openings of the upper streets, and at each arch must be a winding
stair on a circular plan because the corners of square ones are
always fouled; they must be wide, and at the first vault there must
be a door entering into public privies and the said stairs lead from
the upper to the lower streets and the high level streets begin
outside the city gates and slope up till at these gates they have
attained the height of 6 braccia. Let such a city be built near the
sea or a large river in order that the dirt of the city may be
carried off by the water.
The construction of the stairs: The stairs _c d_ go down to _f g_,
and in the same way _f g_ goes down to _h k_.
ON MOVING HOUSES.
Let the houses be moved and arranged in order; and this will be done
with facility because such houses are at first made in pieces on the
open places, and can then be fitted together with their timbers in
the site where they are to be permanent.
 Let the men of the country [or the village] partly inhabit the
new houses when the court is absent .
[Footnote: On the same page we find notes referring to Romolontino
and Villafranca with a sketch-map of the course of the "Sodro" and
the "(Lo)cra" (both are given in the text farther on). There can
hardly be a doubt that the last sentence of the passage given above,
refers to the court of Francis I. King of France.--L.9-13 are
written inside the larger sketch, which, in the original, is on the
right hand side of the page by the side of lines 1-8. The three
smaller sketches are below. J. P. R.]
_II. Plans for canals and streets in a town.
Pl. LXXIX, 1. and 2, (MS. B, 37b, see No. 745, and MS. B. 36a, see
No. 746). A Plan for streets and canals inside a town, by which the
cellars of the houses are made accessible in boats.
The third text given under No. 747 refers to works executed by
Leonardo in France._
The front _a m_ will give light to the rooms; _a e_ will be 6
braccia--_a b_ 8 braccia --_b e_ 30 braccia, in order that the rooms
under the porticoes may be lighted; _c d f_ is the place where the
boats come to the houses to be unloaded. In order to render this
arrangement practicable, and in order that the inundation of the
rivers may not penetrate into the cellars, it is necessary to chose
an appropriate situation, such as a spot near a river which can be
diverted into canals in which the level of the water will not vary
either by inundations or drought. The construction is shown below;
and make choice of a fine river, which the rains do not render
muddy, such as the Ticino, the Adda and many others. [Footnote 12:
_Tesino, Adda e molti altri, i.e._ rivers coming from the mountains
and flowing through lakes.] The construction to oblige the waters to
keep constantly at the same level will be a sort of dock, as shown
below, situated at the entrance of the town; or better still, some
way within, in order that the enemy may not destroy it .
[Footnote: L. 1-4 are on the left hand side and within the sketch
given on Pl. LXXIX, No. I. Then follows after line 14, the drawing
of a sluicegate--_conca_--of which the use is explained in the text
below it. On the page 38a, which comes next in the original MS. is
the sketch of an oval plan of a town over which is written "_modo di
canali per la citta_" and through the longer axis of it "_canale
magior_" is written with "_Tesino_" on the prolongation of the
canal. J. P. R.]
Let the width of the streets be equal to the average height of the
The main underground channel does not receive turbid water, but that
water runs in the ditches outside the town with four mills at the
entrance and four at the outlet; and this may be done by damming the
water above Romorantin.
There should be fountains made in each piazza.
[Footnote: In the original this text comes immediately after the
passage given as No. 744. The remainder of the writing on the same
page refers to the construction of canals and is given later, in the
Lines 1-11 are written to the right of the plan lines 11-13
underneath it. J. P. R.]
[Footnote 10: _Romolontino_ is Romorantin, South of Orleans in
_III. Castles and Villas.
Pl. LXXX, No. 1 (P. V. fol. 39b; No. d'ordre 2282). The fortified
place here represented is said by Vallardi to be the_ "castello" _at
Milan, but without any satisfactory reason. The high tower behind
the_ "rivellino" _ravelin--seems to be intended as a watch-tower.
Pl. LXXX, No. 2 (MS. B, 23b). A similarly constructed tower probably
intended for the same use.
Pl. LXXX, No. 3 (MS. B). Sketches for corner towers with steps for a
Pl. LXXX, No. 4 (W. XVI). A cupola crowning a corner tower; an
interesting example of decorative fortification. In this
reproduction of the original pen and ink drawing it appears
B. Projects for Palaces.
Pl. LXXXI, No. 2 (MS. C. A, 75b; 221a, see No. 748). Project for a
royal residence at Amboise in France.
Pl. LXXXII, No. 1 (C. A 308a; 939a). A plan for a somewhat extensive
residence, and various details; but there is no text to elucidate
it; in courts are written the three names:
Sam cosi giova
_(St. Mark)_ _(Cosmo)_ _(John)_,
arch mo nino
C. Plans for small castles or Villas.
The three following sketches greatly resemble each other. Pl.
LXXXII, No. 2 (MS. K3 36b; see No. 749)._
_Pl. LXXXII, No. 3 (MS. B 60a; See No. 750).
Pl. LXXXIII (W. XVII). The text on this sheet refers to Cyprus (see
Topographical Notes No. 1103), but seems to have no direct
connection with the sketches inserted between.
Pl. LXXXVIII, Nos. 6 and 7 (MS. B, 12a; see No. 751). A section of a
circular pavilion with the plan of a similar building by the side of
it. These two drawings have a special historical interest because
the text written below mentions the Duke and Duchess of Milan.
The sketch of a villa on a terrace at the end of a garden occurs in
C. A. 150; and in C. A. 77b; 225b is another sketch of a villa
somewhat resembling the_ Belvedere _of Pope Innocent VIII, at Rome.
In C. A. 62b; 193b there is a Loggia.
Pl. LXXXII, No. 4 (C. A. 387a; 1198a) is a tower-shaped_ Loggia
_above a fountain. The machinery is very ingeniously screened from
The Palace of the prince must have a piazza in front of it.
Houses intended for dancing or any kind of jumping or any other
movements with a multitude of people, must be on the ground- floor;
for I have already witnessed the destruction of some, causing death
to many persons, and above all let every wall, be it ever so thin,
rest on the ground or on arches with a good foundation.
Let the mezzanines of the dwellings be divided by walls made of very
thin bricks, and without wood on account of fire.
Let all the privies have ventilation [by shafts] in the thickness of
the walls, so as to exhale by the roofs.
The mezzanines should be vaulted, and the vaults will be stronger in
proportion as they are of small size.
The ties of oak must be enclosed in the walls in order to be
protected from fire.
[Footnote: The remarks accompanying the plan reproduced on Pl.
LXXXI, No. 2 are as follows: Above, to the left: "_in_ a _angholo
stia la guardia de la sstalla_" (in the angle _a_ may be the keeper
of the stable). Below are the words "_strada dabosa_" (road to
Amboise), parallel with this "_fossa br 40_" (the moat 40 braccia)
fixing the width of the moat. In the large court surrounded by a
portico "_in terre No.--Largha br.80 e lugha br 120_." To the right
of the castle is a large basin for aquatic sports with the words
"_Giostre colle nave cioe li giostra li stieno sopra le na_"
(Jousting in boats that is the men are to be in boats). J. P. R.]
The privies must be numerous and going one into the other in order
that the stench may not penetrate into the dwellings., and all their
doors must shut off themselves with counterpoises.
The main division of the facade of this palace is into two portions;
that is to say the width of the court-yard must be half the whole
facade; the 2nd ...
30 braccia wide on each side; the lower entrance leads into a hall
10 braccia wide and 30 braccia long with 4 recesses each with a
[Footnote: On each side of the castle, Pl. LXXXII. No. 2 there are
drawings of details, to the left "_Camino_" a chimney, to the right
the central lantern, sketched in red "_8 lati_" _i.e._ an octagon.]
The firststorey [or terrace] must be entirely solid.
The pavilion in the garden of the Duchess of Milan.
The plan of the pavilion which is in the middle of the labyrinth of
the Duke of Milan.
[Footnote: This passage was first published by AMORETTI in _Memorie
Storiche_ Cap. X: Una sua opera da riportarsi a quest' anno fu il
bagno fatto per la duchessa Beatrice nel parco o giardino del
Castello. Lionardo non solo ne disegno il piccolo edifizio a foggia
di padiglione, nel cod. segnato Q. 3, dandone anche separatamente la
pianta; ma sotto vi scrisse: Padiglione del giardino della duchessa;
e sotto la pianta: Fondamento del padiglione ch'e nel mezzo del
labirinto del duca di Milano; nessuna data e presso il padiglione,
disegnato nella pagina 12, ma poco sopra fra molti circoli
intrecciati vedesi = 10 Luglio 1492 = e nella pagina 2 presso ad
alcuni disegni di legumi qualcheduno ha letto Settembre 1482 in vece
di 1492, come dovea scriverevi, e probabilmente scrisse Lionardo.
The original text however hardly bears the interpretation put upon
it by AMORETTI. He is mistaken as to the mark on the MS. as well as
in his statements as to the date, for the MS. in question has no
date; the date he gives occurs, on the contrary, in another
note-book. Finally, it appears to me quite an open question whether
Leonardo was the architect who carried out the construction of the
dome-like Pavilion here shown in section, or of the ground plan of
the Pavilion drawn by the side of it. Must we, in fact, suppose that
"_il duca di Milano_" here mentioned was, as has been generally
assumed, Ludovico il Moro? He did not hold this title from the
Emperor before 1494; till that date he was only called _Governatore_
and Leonardo in speaking of him, mentions him generally as "_il
Moro_" even after 1494. On January 18, 1491, he married Beatrice
d'Este the daughter of Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara. She died on the
2nd January 1497, and for the reasons I have given it seems
improbable that it should be this princess who is here spoken of as
the "_Duchessa di Milano_". From the style of the handwriting it
appears to me to be beyond all doubt that the MS. B, from which this
passage is taken, is older than the dated MSS. of 1492 and 1493. In
that case the Duke of Milan here mentioned would be Gian Galeazzo
(1469-1494) and the Duchess would be his wife Isabella of Aragon, to
whom he was married on the second February 1489. J. P. R.]
The earth that is dug out from the cellars must be raised on one
side so high as to make a terrace garden as high as the level of the
hall; but between the earth of the terrace and the wall of the
house, leave an interval in order that the damp may not spoil the
_IV. Ecclesiastical Architecture.
A. General Observations._
A building should always be detached on all sides so that its form
may be seen.
[Footnote: The original text is reproduced on Pl. XCII, No. 1 to the
left hand at the bottom.]
Here there cannot and ought not to be any _campanile_; on the
contrary it must stand apart like that of the Cathedral and of San
Giovanni at Florence, and of the Cathedral at Pisa, where the
campanile is quite detached as well as the dome. Thus each can
display its own perfection. If however you wish to join it to the
church, make the lantern serve for the campanile as in the church at
[Footnote: This text is written by the side of the plan given on Pl.
XCI. No. 2.]
[Footnote 12: The Abbey of Chiaravalle, a few miles from Milan, has
a central tower on the intersection of the cross in the style of
that of the Certosa of Pavia, but the style is mediaeval (A. D.
1330). Leonardo seems here to mean, that in a building, in which the
circular form is strongly conspicuous, the campanile must either be
separated, or rise from the centre of the building and therefore
take the form of a lantern.]
It never looks well to see the roofs of a church; they should rather
be flat and the water should run off by gutters made in the frieze.
[Footnote: This text is to the left of the domed church reproduced
on Pl. LXXXVII, No. 2.]
_B. The theory of Dome Architecture.
This subject has been more extensively treated by Leonardo in
drawings than in writing. Still we may fairly assume that it was his
purpose, ultimately to embody the results of his investigation in a_
"Trattato delle Cupole." _The amount of materials is remarkably
extensive. MS. B is particularly rich in plans and elevations of
churches with one or more domes--from the simplest form to the most
complicated that can be imagined. Considering the evident connexion
between a great number of these sketches, as well as the
impossibility of seeing in them designs or preparatory sketches for
any building intended to be erected, the conclusion is obvious that
they were not designed for any particular monument, but were
theoretical and ideal researches, made in order to obtain a clear
understanding of the laws which must govern the construction of a
great central dome, with smaller ones grouped round it; and with or
without the addition of spires, so that each of these parts by
itself and in its juxtaposition to the other parts should produce
the grandest possible effect.
In these sketches Leonardo seems to have exhausted every imaginable
combination. [Footnote 1: In MS. B, 32b (see Pl. C III, No. 2) we
find eight geometrical patterns, each drawn in a square; and in MS.
C.A., fol. 87 to 98 form a whole series of patterns done with the
same intention.] The results of some of these problems are perhaps
not quite satisfactory; still they cannot be considered to give
evidence of a want of taste or of any other defect in Leonardo s
architectural capacity. They were no doubt intended exclusively for
his own instruction, and, before all, as it seems, to illustrate the
features or consequences resulting from a given principle._
_I have already, in another place,_ [Footnote 1: Les Projets
Primitifs pour la Basilique de St. Pierre de Rome, par Bramante,
Raphael etc.,Vol. I, p. 2.] _pointed out the law of construction for
buildings crowned by a large dome: namely, that such a dome, to
produce the greatest effect possible, should rise either from the
centre of a Greek cross, or from the centre of a structure of which
the plan has some symmetrical affinity to a circle, this circle
being at the same time the centre of the whole plan of the building.
Leonardo's sketches show that he was fully aware, as was to be
expected, of this truth. Few of them exhibit the form of a Latin
cross, and when this is met with, it generally gives evidence of the
determination to assign as prominent a part as possible to the dome
in the general effect of the building.
While it is evident, on the one hand, that the greater number of
these domes had no particular purpose, not being designed for
execution, on the other hand several reasons may be found for
Leonardo's perseverance in his studies of the subject.
Besides the theoretical interest of the question for Leonardo and
his_ Trattato _and besides the taste for domes prevailing at that
time, it seems likely that the intended erection of some building of
the first importance like the Duomos of Pavia and Como, the church
of Sta. Maria delle Grazie at Milan, and the construction of a Dome
or central Tower_ (Tiburio) _on the cathedral of Milan, may have
stimulated Leonardo to undertake a general and thorough
investigation of the subject; whilst Leonardo's intercourse with
Bramante for ten years or more, can hardly have remained without
influence in this matter. In fact now that some of this great
Architect's studies for S. Peter's at Rome have at last become
known, he must be considered henceforth as the greatest master of
Dome-Architecture that ever existed. His influence, direct or
indirect even on a genius like Leonardo seems the more likely, since
Leonardo's sketches reveal a style most similar to that of Bramante,
whose name indeed, occurs twice in Leonardo's manuscript notes. It
must not be forgotten that Leonardo was a Florentine; the
characteristic form of the two principal domes of Florence, Sta.
Maria del Fiore and the Battisterio, constantly appear as leading
features in his sketches.
The church of San Lorenzo at Milan, was at that time still intact.
The dome is to this day one of the most wonderful cupolas ever
constructed, and with its two smaller domes might well attract the
attention and study of a never resting genius such as Leonardo. A
whole class of these sketches betray in fact the direct influence of
the church of S. Lorenzo, and this also seems to have suggested the
plan of Bramante's dome of St. Peter's at Rome.
In the following pages the various sketches for the construction of
domes have been classified and discussed from a general point of
view. On two sheets: Pl. LXXXIV (C.A. 354b; 118a) and Pl. LXXXV,
Nos. 1-11 (Ash. II, 6b) we see various dissimilar types, grouped
together; thus these two sheets may be regarded as a sort of
nomenclature of the different types, on which we shall now have to
_1. Churches formed on the plan of a Greek cross.
Domes rising from a circular base.
The simplest type of central building is a circular edifice.
Pl. LXXXIV, No. 9. Plan of a circular building surrounded by a
Pl. LXXXIV, No. 8. Elevation of the former, with a conical roof.
Pl. XC. No. 5. A dodecagon, as most nearly approaching the circle.
Pl. LXXXVI, No. 1, 2, 3. Four round chapels are added at the
extremities of the two principal axes;--compare this plan with fig.
1 on p. 44 and fig. 3 on p. 47 (W. P. 5b) where the outer wall is
Domes rising from a square base.
The plan is a square surrounded by a colonnade, and the dome seems
to be octagonal.
Pl. LXXXIV. The square plan below the circular building No. 8, and
its elevation to the left, above the plan: here the ground-plan is
square, the upper storey octagonal. A further development of this
type is shown in two sketches C. A. 3a (not reproduced here), and in
Pl. LXXXVI, No. 5 (which possibly belongs to No. 7 on Pl. LXXXIV).
Pl, LXXXV, No. 4, and p. 45, Fig. 3, a Greek cross, repeated p. 45,
Fig. 3, is another development of the square central plan.
The remainder of these studies show two different systems; in the
first the dome rises from a square plan,--in the second from an
Domes rising from a square base and four pillars. [Footnote 1: The
ancient chapel San Satiro, via del Falcone, Milan, is a specimen of
a) First type. _A Dome resting on four pillars in the centre of a
square edifice, with an apse in the middle, of each of the four
sides. We have eleven variations of this type.
aa) Pl. LXXXVIII, No. 3.
bb) Pl. LXXX, No. 5.
cc) Pl. LXXXV, Nos. 2, 3, 5.
dd) Pl. LXXXIV, No. 1 and 4 beneath.
ee) Pl. LXXXV, Nos. 1, 7, 10, 11._
b) Second type. _This consists in adding aisles to the whole plan of
the first type; columns are placed between the apses and the aisles;
the plan thus obtained is very nearly identical with that of S.
Lorenzo at Milan.
Fig. 1 on p. 56. (MS. B, 75a) shows the result of this treatment
adapted to a peculiar purpose about which we shall have to say a few
words later on.
Pl. XCV, No. 1, shows the same plan but with the addition of a short
nave. This plan seems to have been suggested by the general
arrangement of S. Sepolcro at Milan.
MS. B. 57b (see the sketch reproduced on p.51). By adding towers in
the four outer angles to the last named plan, we obtain a plan which
bears the general features of Bramante's plans for S. Peter's at
Rome. [Footnote 2: See_ Les projets primitifs _etc., Pl. 9-12.] (See
p. 51 Fig. 1.)
Domes rising from an octagonal base.
This system, developed according to two different schemes, has given
rise to two classes with many varieties.
In a) On each side of the octagon chapels of equal form are added.
In b) The chapels are dissimilar; those which terminate the
principal axes being different in form from those which are added on
the diagonal sides of the octagon.
a. First Class.
The Chapel_ "degli Angeli," _at Florence, built only to a height of
about 20 feet by Brunellesco, may be considered as the prototype of
this group; and, indeed it probably suggested it. The fact that we
see in MS. B. 11b (Pl. XCIV, No. 3) by the side of Brunellesco's
plan for the Basilica of Sto. Spirito at Florence, a plan almost
identical with that of the_ Capella degli Angeli, _confirms this
supposition. Only two small differences, or we may say improvements,
have been introduced by Leonardo. Firstly the back of the chapels
contains a third niche, and each angle of the Octagon a folded
pilaster like those in Bramante's_ Sagrestia di S. M. presso San
Satiro _at Milan, instead of an interval between the two pilasters
as seen in the Battistero at Florence and in the Sacristy of Sto.
Spirito in the same town and also in the above named chapel by
The first set of sketches which come under consideration have at
first sight the appearance of mere geometrical studies. They seem to
have been suggested by the plan given on page 44 Fig. 2 (MS. B, 55a)
in the centre of which is written_ "Santa Maria in perticha da
Pavia", _at the place marked A on the reproduction.
a) (MS. B, 34b, page 44 Fig. 3). In the middle of each side a column
is added, and in the axes of the intercolumnar spaces a second row
of columns forms an aisle round the octagon. These are placed at the
intersection of a system of semicircles, of which the sixteen
columns on the sides of the octagon are the centres.
b) The preceding diagram is completed and becomes more monumental in
style in the sketch next to it (MS. B, 35a, see p. 45 Fig. 1). An
outer aisle is added by circles, having for radius the distance
between the columns in the middle sides of the octagon.
c) (MS. B. 96b, see p. 45 Fig. 2). Octagon with an aisle round it;
the angles of both are formed by columns. The outer sides are formed
by 8 niches forming chapels. The exterior is likewise octagonal,
with the angles corresponding to the centre of each of the interior
Pl. XCII, No. 2 (MS. B. 96b). Detail and modification of the
preceding plan--half columns against piers--an arrangement by which
the chapels of the aisle have the same width of opening as the inner
arches between the half columns. Underneath this sketch the
following note occurs:_ questo vole - avere 12 facce - co 12
tabernaculi - come - _a_ - _b_. _(This will have twelve sides with
twelve tabernacles as_ a b._) In the remaining sketches of this
class the octagon is not formed by columns at the angles.
The simplest type shows a niche in the middle of each side and is
repeated on several sheets, viz: MS. B 3; MS. C.A. 354b (see Pl.
LXXXIV, No. 11) and MS. Ash II 6b; (see Pl. LXXXV, No. 9 and the
elevations No. 8; Pl. XCII, No. 3; MS. B. 4b [not reproduced here]
and Pl. LXXXIV, No. 2)._
_Pl. XCII, 3 (MS. B, 56b) corresponds to a plan like the one in MS.
B 35a, in which the niches would be visible outside or, as in the
following sketch, with the addition of a niche in the middle of each
Pl. XC, No. 6. The niches themselves are surrounded by smaller
niches (see also No. 1 on the same plate).
Octagon expanded on each side.
A. by a square chapel:
MS. B. 34b (not reproduced here).
B. by a square with 3 niches:
MS. B. 11b (see Pl. XCIV, No. 3).
C. by octagonal chapels:
a) MS. B, 21a; Pl. LXXXVIII, No. 4.
b) No. 2 on the same plate. Underneath there is the remark:_
"quest'e come le 8 cappele ano a essere facte" _(this is how the
eight chapels are to be executed).
c) Pl. LXXXVIII, No. 5. Elevation to the plans on the same sheet, it
is accompanied by the note:_ "ciasscuno de' 9 tiburi no'uole -
passare l'alteza - di - 2 - quadri" _(neither of the 9 domes must
exceed the height of two squares).
d) Pl. LXXXVIII, No. 1. Inside of the same octagon. MS. B, 30a, and
34b; these are three repetitions of parts of the same plan with very
D. by a circular chapel:
MS. B, 18a (see Fig. 1 on page 47) gives the plan of this
arrangement in which the exterior is square on the ground floor with
only four of the chapels projecting, as is explained in the next
Pl. LXXXIX, MS. B, 17b. Elevation to the preceding plan sketched on
the opposite side of the sheet, and also marked A. It is accompanied
by the following remark, indicating the theoretical character of
these studies:_ questo - edifitio - anchora - starebbe - bene
affarlo dalla linja - _a_ - _b_ - _c_ - _d_ - insu. _("This edifice
would also produce a good effect if only the part above the lines_ a
b, c d, _were executed").
Pl. LXXXIV, No. 11. The exterior has the form of an octagon, but the
chapels project partly beyond it. On the left side of the sketch
they appear larger than on the right side.
Pl. XC, No. 1, (MS. B, 25b); Repetition of Pl. LXXXIV, No. 11.
Pl. XC, No. 2. Elevation to the plan No. 1, and also to No. 6 of the
_E. By chapels formed by four niches:
Pl. LXXXIV, No. 7 (the circular plan on the left below) shows this
arrangement in which the central dome has become circular inside and
might therefore be classed after this group. [Footnote 1: This plan
and some others of this class remind us of the plan of the Mausoleum
of Augustus as it is represented for instance by Durand. See_ Cab.
des Estampes, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Topographie de Rome, V,
The sketch on the right hand side gives most likely the elevation
for the last named plan.
F. By chapels of still richer combinations, which necessitate an
octagon of larger dimensions:
Pl. XCI, No. 2 (MS. Ash. 11. 8b) [Footnote 2: The note accompanying
this plan is given under No. 754.]; on this plan the chapels
themselves appear to be central buildings formed like the first type
of the third group. Pl. LXXXVIII, No. 3.
Pl. XCI, No. 2 above; the exterior of the preceding figure,
particularly interesting on account of the alternation of apses and
niches, the latter containing statues of a gigantic size, in
proportion to the dimension of the niches.
b. Second Class.
Composite plans of this class are generally obtained by combining
two types of the first class--the one worked out on the principal
axes, the other on the diagonal ones.
MS. B. 22 shows an elementary combination, without any additions on
the diagonal axes, but with the dimensions of the squares on the two
principal axes exceeding those of the sides of the octagon.
In the drawing W. P. 5b (see page 44 Fig. 1) the exterior only of
the edifice is octagonal, the interior being formed by a circular
colonnade; round chapels are placed against the four sides of the
The elevation, drawn on the same sheet (see page 47 Fig. 3), shows
the whole arrangement which is closely related with the one on Pl.
LXXXVI No. 1, 2.
MS. B. 21a shows:
a) four sides with rectangular chapels crowned by pediments Pl.
LXXXVII No. 3 (plan and elevation);
b) four sides with square chapels crowned by octagonal domes. Pl.
LXXXVII No. 4; the plan underneath.
MS. B. 18a shows a variation obtained by replacing the round chapels
in the principal axes of the sketch MS. B. l8a by square ones, with
an apse. Leonardo repeated both ideas for better comparison side by
side, see page 47. Fig. 2.
Pl. LXXXIX (MS. B. 17b). Elevation for the preceding figure. The
comparison of the drawing marked M with the plan on page 47 Fig. 2,
bearing the same mark, and of the elevation on Pl. LXXXIX below
(marked A) with the corresponding plan on page 47 is highly
instructive, as illustrating the spirit in which Leonardo pursued
Pl. LXXXIV No. 12 shows the design Pl. LXXXVII No. 3 combined with
apses, with the addition of round chapels on the diagonal sides.
Pl. LXXXIV No. 13 is a variation of the preceding sketch.
Pl. XC No. 3. MS. B. 25b. The round chapels of the preceding sketch
are replaced by octagonal chapels, above which rise campaniles.
Pl. XC No. 4 is the elevation for the preceding plan.
Pl. XCII No. 1. (MS. B. 39b.); the plan below. On the principal as
well as on the diagonal axes are diagonal chapels, but the latter
are separated from the dome by semicircular recesses. The
communication between these eight chapels forms a square aisle round
the central dome.
Above this figure is the elevation, showing four campaniles on the
angles. [Footnote 1: The note accompanying this drawing is
reproduced under No. 753.]
Pl. LXXXIV No. 3. On the principal axes are square chapels with
three niches; on the diagonals octagonal chapels with niches. Cod.
Atl. 340b gives a somewhat similar arrangement.
MS. B. 30. The principal development is thrown on the diagonal axes
by square chapels with three niches; on the principal axes are inner
recesses communicating with outer ones.
The plan Pl. XCIII No. 2 (MS. B. 22) differs from this only in so
far as the outer semicircles have become circular chapels,
projecting from the external square as apses; one of them serves as
the entrance by a semicircular portico.
The elevation is drawn on the left side of the plan.
MS. B. 19. A further development of MS. B. 18, by employing for the
four principal chapels the type Pl. LXXXVIII No. 3, as we have
already seen in Pl. XCI No. 2; the exterior presents two varieties.
a) The outer contour follows the inner. [Footnote 2: These chapels
are here sketched in two different sizes; it is the smaller type
which is thus formed.]
b) It is semicircular.
Pl. LXXXVII No. 2 (MS. B. 18b) Elevation to the first variation MS.
B. 19. If we were not certain that this sketch was by Leonardo, we
might feel tempted to take it as a study by Bramante for St. Peter's
at Rome. [Footnote 3: See_ Les projets primitifs Pl. 43._]_
_MS. P. V. 39b. In the principal axes the chapels of MS. B. 19, and
semicircular niches on the diagonals. The exterior of the whole
edifice is also an octagon, concealing the form of the interior
chapels, but with its angles on their axes.
Suggested by San Lorenzo at Milan.
In MS. C. A. 266 IIb, 8l2b there is a plan almost identical with
that of San Lorenzo. The diagonal sides of the irregular octagon are
If it could be proved that the arches which, in the actual church,
exist on these sides in the first story, were added in 1574 by
Martimo Bassi, then this plan and the following section would be
still nearer the original state of San Lorenzo than at present. A
reproduction of this slightly sketched plan has not been possible.
It may however be understood from Pl. LXXXVIII No. 3, by suppressing
the four pillars corresponding to the apses.
Pl. LXXXVII No. 1 shows the section in elevation corresponding with
the above-named plan. The recessed chapels are decorated with large
shells in the halfdomes like the arrangement in San Lorenzo, but
with proportions like those of Bramante's Sacristy of Santa Maria
presso S. Satiro.
MS. C. A. 266; a sheet containing three views of exteriors of Domes.
On the same sheet there is a plan similar to the one above-named but
with uninterrupted aisles and with the addition of round chapels in
the axes (compare Pl. XCVII No. 3 and page 44 Fig. 1), perhaps a
reminiscence of the two chapels annexed to San Lorenzo.--Leonardo
has here sketched the way of transforming this plan into a Latin
cross by means of a nave with side aisles.
Pl. XCI No. 1. Plan showing a type deprived of aisles and comprised
in a square building which is surrounded by a portico. It is
accompanied by the following text:_
This edifice is inhabited [accessible] below and above, like San
Sepolcro, and it is the same above as below, except that the upper
story has the dome _c d_; and the [Footnote: The church of San
Sepolcro at Milan, founded in 1030 and repeatedly rebuilt after the
middle of the XVIth century, still stands over the crypt of the
original structure.] lower has the dome _a b_, and when you enter
into the crypt, you descend 10 steps, and when you mount into the
upper you ascend 20 steps, which, with 1/3 braccio for each, make 10
braccia, and this is the height between one floor of the church and
_Above the plan on the same sheet is a view of the exterior. By the
aid of these two figures and the description, sections of the
edifice may easily be reconstructed. But the section drawn on the
left side of the building seems not to be in keeping with the same
plan, notwithstanding the explanatory note written underneath it:
"dentro il difitio di sopra" (interior of the edifice
above)[Footnote 1: _The small inner dome corresponds to_ a b _on the
plan--it rises from the lower church into the upper-- above, and
larger, rises the dome_ c d. _The aisles above and below thus
correspond_ (e di sopra come di sotto, salvoche etc.). _The only
difference is, that in the section Leonardo has not taken the
trouble to make the form octagonal, but has merely sketched circular
lines in perspective._ J. P. R._].
_Before leaving this group, it is well to remark that the germ of it
seems already indicated by the diagonal lines in the plans Pl. LXXXV
No. 11 and No. 7. We shall find another application of the same type
to the Latin cross in Pl. XCVII No. 3.
_2. Churches formed on the plan of a Latin cross.
We find among Leonardo's studies several sketches for churches on
the plan of the Latin cross; we shall begin by describing them, and
shall add a few observations.
A. Studies after existing Monuments.
Pl. XCIV No. 2. (MS. B. 11b.) Plan of Santo Spirito at Florence, a
basilica built after the designs of Brunellesco.--Leonardo has added
the indication of a portico in front, either his own invention or
the reproduction of a now lost design.
Pl. XCV No. 2. Plan accompanied by the words: "A_ e santo sepolcro
di milano di sopra"(A _is the upper church of S. Sepolcro at Milan);
although since Leonardo's time considerably spoilt, it is still the
same in plan.
The second plan with its note: "B_ e la sua parte socto tera" (B _is
its subterranean part [the crypt]) still corresponds with the
present state of this part of the church as I have ascertained by
visiting the crypt with this plan. Excepting the addition of a few
insignificant walls, the state of this interesting part of the
church still conforms to Leonardo's sketch; but in the Vestibolo the
two columns near the entrance of the winding stairs are absent.
B. Designs or Studies.
PL. XCV No. 1. Plan of a church evidently suggested by that of San
Sepolcro at Milan. The central part has been added to on the
principle of the second type of Group III. Leonardo has placed the_
"coro" _(choir) in the centre._
_Pl. XCVI No. 2. In the plan the dome, as regards its interior,
belongs to the First Class of Group IV, and may be grouped with the
one in MS. B. 35a. The nave seems to be a development of the type
represented in Pl. XCV No. 2, B. by adding towers and two lateral
porticos[Footnote 1: Already published in Les projets primitifs Pl.
On the left is a view of the exterior of the preceding plan. It is
accompanied by the following note:_
This building is inhabited below and above; the way up is by the
campaniles, and in going up one has to use the platform, where the
drums of the four domes are, and this platform has a parapet in
front, and none of these domes communicate with the church, but they
are quite separate.
_Pl. XCVI No. 1 (MS. C. A. 16b; 65a). Perspective view of a church
seen from behind; this recalls the Duomo at Florence, but with two
campaniles[Footnote 2: Already published in the Saggio Pl. IX.].
Pl. XCVII No. 3 (MS. B. 52a). The central part is a development of
S. Lorenzo at Milan, such as was executed at the Duomo of Pavia.
There is sufficient analogy between the building actually executed
and this sketch to suggest a direct connection between them.
Leonardo accompanied Francesco di Giorgio[Footnote 3: See MALASPINA,
il Duomo di Pavia. Documents.] when the latter was consulted on June
21st, 1490 as to this church; the fact that the only word
accompanying the plan is:_ "sagrestia", _seems to confirm our
supposition, for the sacristies were added only in 1492, i. e. four
years after the beginning of the Cathedral, which at that time was
most likely still sufficiently unfinished to be capable of receiving
the form of the present sketch.
Pl. XCVII No. 2 shows the exterior of this design. Below is the
note:_ edifitio al proposito del fodameto figurato di socto
_(edifice proper for the ground plan figured below).
Here we may also mention the plan of a Latin cross drawn in MS. C.
A. fol. 266 (see p. 50).
Pl. XCIV No. 1 (MS. L. 15b). External side view of Brunellesco's
Florentine basilica San Lorenzo, seen from the North.
Pl. XCIV No. 4 (V. A. V, 1). Principal front of a nave, most likely
of a church on the plan of a Latin cross. We notice here not only
the principal features which were employed afterwards in Alberti's
front of S. Maria Novella, but even details of a more advanced
style, such as we are accustomed to meet with only after the year
In the background of Leonardo's unfinished picture of St. Jerome
(Vatican Gallery) a somewhat similar church front is indicated (see
the accompanying sketch).
[Illustration with caption: The view of the front of a temple,
apparently a dome in the centre of four corinthian porticos bearing
pediments (published by Amoretti Tav. II. B as being by Leonardo),
is taken from a drawing, now at the Ambrosian Gallery. We cannot
consider this to be by the hand of the master.]_
_C. Studies for a form of a Church most proper for preaching.
The problem as to what form of church might answer the requirements
of acoustics seems to have engaged Leonardo's very particular
attention. The designation of_ "teatro" _given to some of these
sketches, clearly shows which plan seemed to him most favourable for
hearing the preacher's voice.
Pl. XCVII, No. 1 (MS. B, 52). Rectangular edifice divided into three
naves with an apse on either side, terminated by a semicircular
theatre with rising seats, as in antique buildings. The pulpit is in
the centre. Leonardo has written on the left side of the sketch_:
"teatro da predicare" _(Theatre for preaching).
MS. B, 55a (see page 56, Fig. 1). A domed church after the type of
Pl. XCV, No. 1, shows four theatres occupying the apses and facing
the square_ "coro" _(choir), which is in the centre between the four
pillars of the dome.[Footnote 1: The note_ teatro de predicar, _on
the right side is, I believe, in the handwriting of Pompeo Leoni. J.
P. R.] The rising arrangement of the seats is shown in the sketch
above. At the place marked_ B _Leonardo wrote_ teatri per uldire
messa _(rows of seats to hear mass), at_ T teatri,_ and at_ C coro
In MS. C.A. 260, are slight sketches of two plans for rectangular
choirs and two elevations of the altar and pulpit which seem to be
in connection with these plans.
In MS. Ash II, 8a (see p. 56 and 57. Fig. 2 and 3)._ "Locho dove si
predica" _(Place for preaching). A most singular plan for a
building. The interior is a portion of a sphere, the centre of which
is the summit of a column destined to serve as the preacher's
pulpit. The inside is somewhat like a modern theatre, whilst the
exterior and the galleries and stairs recall the ancient
[Illustration with caption: Page 57, Fig. 4. A plan accompanying the
two preceding drawings. If this gives the complete form Leonardo
intended for the edifice, it would have comprised only about two
thirds of the circle. Leonardo wrote in the centre_ "fondamento", _a
word he often employed for plans, and on the left side of the view
of the exterior:_ locho dove si predicha _(a place for preaching
_D. Design for a Mausoleum.
Pl. XCVIII (P. V., 182._ No. d'ordre 2386). In the midst of a hilly
landscape rises an artificial mountain in the form of a gigantic
cone, crowned by an imposing temple. At two thirds of the height a
terrace is cut out with six doorways forming entrances to galleries,
each leading to three sepulchral halls, so constructed as to contain
about five hundred funeral urns, disposed in the customary antique
style. From two opposite sides steps ascend to the terrace in a
single flight and beyond it to the temple above. A large circular
opening, like that in the Pantheon, is in the dome above what may be
the altar, or perhaps the central monument on the level of the
The section of a gallery given in the sketch to the right below
shows the roof to be constructed on the principle of superimposed
horizontal layers, projecting one beyond the other, and each
furnished with a sort of heel, which appears to be undercut, so as
to give the appearance of a beam from within. Granite alone would be
adequate to the dimensions here given to the key stone, as the
thickness of the layers can hardly be considered to be less than a
foot. In taking this as the basis of our calculation for the
dimensions of the whole construction, the width of the chamber would
be about 25 feet but, judging from the number of urns it
contains--and there is no reason to suppose that these urns were
larger than usual--it would seem to be no more than about 8 or 10
The construction of the vaults resembles those in the galleries of
some etruscan tumuli, for instance the Regulini Galeassi tomb at
Cervetri (lately discovered) and also that of the chamber and
passages of the pyramid of Cheops and of the treasury of Atreus at
The upper cone displays not only analogies with the monuments
mentioned in the note, but also with Etruscan tumuli, such as the
Cocumella tomb at Vulci, and the Regulini Galeassi tomb_[Footnote 1:
_See_ FERSGUSON, _Handbook of Architecture, I,_ 291.]. _The whole
scheme is one of the most magnificent in the history of
It would be difficult to decide as to whether any monument he had
seen suggested this idea to Leonardo, but it is worth while to
enquire, if any monument, or group of monuments of an earlier date
may be supposed to have done so._[Footnote 2: _There are, in
Algiers, two Monuments, commonly called_ "Le Madracen" _and_ "Le
tombeau de la Chretienne," _which somewhat resemble Leonardo's
design. They are known to have served as the Mausolea of the Kings
of Mauritania. Pomponius Mela, the geographer of the time of the
Emperor Claudius, describes them as having been_ "Monumentum commune
regiae gentis." _See_ Le Madracen, Rapport fait par M. le Grand
Rabbin AB. CAHEN, Constantine 1873--Memoire sur les fouilles
executees au Madras'en .. par le Colonel BRUNON, Constantine
l873.--Deux Mausolees Africains, le Madracen et le tombeau de la
Chretienne par M. J. DE LAURIERE, Tours l874.--Le tombeau de la
Chretienne, Mausolee des rois Mauritaniens par M. BERBRUGGER, Alger
1867.--_I am indebted to M. LE BLANC, of the Institut, and M. LUD,
LALANNE, Bibliothecaire of the Institut for having first pointed out
to me the resemblance between these monuments; while M. ANT. HERON
DE VlLLEFOSSE of the Louvre was kind enough to place the
abovementioned rare works at my disposal. Leonardo's observations on
the coast of Africa are given later in this work. The Herodium near
Bethlehem in Palestine_ (Jebel el Fureidis, _the Frank Mountain)
was, according to the latest researches, constructed on a very
similar plan. See_ Der Frankenberg, von Baurath C. SCHICK in
Jerusalem, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins, _Leipzag_
1880, _Vol. III, pages_ 88-99 _and Plates IV and V._ J. P. R.]
_E. Studies for the Central Tower, or Tiburio of Milan Cathedral.
Towards the end of the fifteenth century the Fabbricceria del Duomo
had to settle on the choice of a model for the crowning and central
part of this vast building. We learn from a notice published by G.
L. Calvi [Footnote: G. L. CALVI, Notizie sulla vita e sulle opere
dei principali architetti scultori e pittori che fiorirono in
Milano, Part III, 20. See also: H. DE GEYMULLER, Les projets
primitifs etc. I, 37 and 116-119.--The Fabbricceria of the Duomo has
lately begun the publication of the archives, which may possibly
tell us more about the part taken by Leonardo, than has hitherto
been known.] that among the artists who presented models in the year
1488 were: Bramante, Pietro da Gorgonzola, Luca Paperio (Fancelli),
and Leonardo da Vinci.--
Several sketches by Leonardo refer to this important project:
Pl. XCIX, No. 2 (MS. S. K. III, No. 36a) a small plan of the whole
edifice.--The projecting chapels in the middle of the transept are
wanting here. The nave appears to be shortened and seems to be
approached by an inner "vestibolo".--
Pl. C, No. 2 (Tr. 21). Plan of the octagon tower, giving the
disposition of the buttresses; starting from the eight pillars
adjoining the four principal piers and intended to support the eight
angles of the Tiburio. These buttresses correspond exactly with
those described by Bramante as existing in the model presented by
Omodeo. [Footnote: Bramante's opinion was first published by G.
MONGERl, Arch. stor. Lomb. V, fasc. 3 and afterwards by me in the
publication mentioned in the preceding note.]
Pl. C, 3 (MS. Tr. 16). Two plans showing different arrangements of
the buttresses, which seem to be formed partly by the intersection
of a system of pointed arches such as that seen in **
Pl. C, No. 5 (MS. B, 27a) destined to give a broader base to the
drum. The text underneath is given under No. 788.
MS. B, 3--three slight sketches of plans in connexion with the
_Pl. XCIX, No.1 (MS. Tr. 15) contains several small sketches of
sections and exterior views of the Dome; some of them show
buttress-walls shaped as inverted arches. Respecting these Leonardo
L'arco rivescio e migliore per fare spalla che l'ordinario, perche
il rovescio trova sotto se muro resistete alla sua debolezza, e
l'ordinario no trova nel suo debole se non aria
The inverted arch is better for giving a shoulder than the ordinary
one, because the former finds below it a wall resisting its
weakness, whilst the latter finds in its weak part nothing but air.
[Footnote: _Three slight sketches of sections on the same
leaf--above those reproduced here--are more closely connected with
the large drawing in the centre of Pl. C, No. 4 (M.S, Tr. 41) which
shows a section of a very elevated dome, with double vaults,
connected by ribs and buttresses ingeniously disposed, so as to
bring the weight of the lantern to bear on the base of the dome.
A sketch underneath it shows a round pillar on which is indicated
which part of its summit is to bear the weight: "il pilastro sara
charicho in . a . b." (The column will bear the weight at a b.)
Another note is above on the right side:_ Larcho regiera tanto sotto
asse chome di sopra se _(The arch supports as much below it [i. e. a
hanging weight] as above it).
Pl. C, No. 1 (C. A. 303a). Larger sketch of half section of the
Dome, with a very complicated system of arches, and a double vault.
Each stone is shaped so as to be knit or dovetailed to its
neighbours. Thus the inside of the Dome cannot be seen from below.
MS. C. A. 303b. A repetition of the preceding sketch with very
[Figs. 1. and Fig. 2. two sketeches of the dome]
MS. Tr. 9 (see Fig. 1 and 2). Section of the Dome with reverted
buttresses between the windows, above which iron anchors or chains
seem to be intended. Below is the sketch of the outside._
_PI. XCIX, No. 3 (C. A., 262a) four sketches of the exterior of the
C. A. 12. Section, showing the points of rupture of a gothic vault,
in evident connection with the sketches described above.
It deserves to be noticed how easily and apparently without effort,
Leonardo manages to combine gothic details and structure with the
more modern shape of the Dome.
The following notes are on the same leaf,_ oni cosa poderosa, _and_
oni cosa poderosa desidera de(scendere); _farther below, several
multiplications most likely intended to calculate the weight of some
parts of the Dome, thus 16 x 47 = 720; 720 x 800 = 176000, next to
which is written:_ peso del pilastro di 9 teste _(weight of the
pillar 9 diameters high).
Below:_ 176000 x 8 = 1408000; _and below:_
Semjlio e se ce 80 (?) il peso del tiburio _(six millions six
hundred (?) 80 the weight of the Dome).
Bossi hazarded the theory that Leonardo might have been the
architect who built the church of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, but there
is no evidence to support this, either in documents or in the
materials supplied by Leonardos manuscripts and drawings. The sketch
given at the side shows the arrangement of the second and third
socle on the apses of the choir of that church; and it is remarkable
that those sketches, in MS. S. K. M. II2, 2a and Ib, occur with the
passage given in Volume I as No. 665 and 666 referring to the
composition of the Last Supper in the Refectory of that church._]
_F. The Project for lifting up the Battistero of Florence and
setting it on a basement._
_Among the very few details Vasari gives as to the architectural
studies of Leonardo, we read: "And among these models and designs
there was one by way of which he showed several times to many
ingenious citizens who then governed Florence, his readiness to lift
up without ruining it, the church of San Giovanni in Florence (the
Battistero, opposite the Duomo) in order to place under it the
missing basement with steps; he supported his assertions with
reasons so persuasive, that while he spoke the undertaking seemed
feasable, although every one of his hearers, when he had departed,
could see by himself the impossibility of so vast an undertaking."_
[Footnote: _This latter statement of Vasari's must be considered to
be exaggerated. I may refer here to some data given by_ LIBRI,
Histoire des sciences mathematiques en Italie (II, 216, 217): "On a
cru dans ces derniers temps faire un miracle en mecanique en
effectuant ce transport, et cependant des l'annee 1455, Gaspard Nadi
et Aristote de Fioravantio avaient transporte, a une distance
considerable, la tour de la Magione de Bologne, avec ses fondements,
qui avait presque quatre-vingts pieds de haut. Le continuateur de la
chronique de Pugliola dit que le trajet fut de 35 pieds et que
durant le transport auquel le chroniqueur affirme avoir assiste, il
arriva un accident grave qui fit pencher de trois pieds la tour
pendant qu'elle etait suspendue, mais que cet accident fut
promptement repare (Muratori, Scriptores rer. ital. Tom. XVIII, col.
717, 718). Alidosi a rapporte une note ou Nadi rend compte de ce
transport avec une rare simplicite. D'apres cette note, on voit que
les operations de ce genre n'etaient pas nouvelles. Celle-ci ne
couta que 150 livres (monnaie d'alors) y compris le cadeau que le
Legat fit aux deux mecaniciens. Dans la meme annee, Aristote
redressa le clocher de Cento, qui penchait de plus de cinq pieds
(Alidosi, instruttione p. 188-- Muratori, Scriptores rer. ital.,
tom. XXIII, col. 888.--Bossii, chronica Mediol., 1492, in-fol. ad
ann. 1455). On ne concoit pas comment les historiens des beaux-arts
ont pu negliger de tels hommes." J. P. R.]
_In the MS. C. A. fol. 293, there are two sketches which possibly
might have a bearing on this bold enterprise. We find there a plan
of a circular or polygonal edifice surrounded by semicircular arches
in an oblique position. These may be taken for the foundation of the
steps and of the new platform. In the perspective elevation the same
edifice, forming a polygon, is shown as lifted up and resting on a
circle of inverted arches which rest on an other circle of arches in
the ordinary position, but so placed that the inverted arches above
rest on the spandrels of the lower range._
_What seems to confirm the supposition that the lifting up of a
building is here in question, is the indication of engines for
winding up, such as jacks, and a rack and wheel. As the lifting
apparatus represented on this sheet does not seem particularly
applicable to an undertaking of such magnitude, we may consider it
to be a first sketch or scheme for the engines to be used._
_G. Description of an unknown Temple._
Twelve flights of steps led up to the great temple, which was eight
hundred braccia in circumference and built on an octagonal plan. At
the eight corners were eight large plinths, one braccia and a half
high, and three wide, and six long at the bottom, with an angle in
the middle; on these were eight great pillars, standing on the
plinths as a foundation, and twenty four braccia high. And on the
top of these were eight capitals three braccia long and six wide,
above which were the architrave frieze and cornice, four braccia and
a half high, and this was carried on in a straight line from one
pillar to the next and so, continuing for eight hundred braccia,
surrounded the whole temple, from pillar to pillar. To support this
entablature there were ten large columns of the same height as the
pillars, three braccia thick above their bases which were one
braccia and a half high.
The ascent to this temple was by twelve flights of steps, and the
temple was on the twelfth, of an octagonal form, and at each angle
rose a large pillar; and between the pillars were placed ten columns
of the same height as the pillars, rising at once from the pavement
to a height of twenty eight braccia and a half; and at this height
the architrave, frieze and cornice were placed which surrounded the
temple having a length of eight hundred braccia. At the same height,
and within the temple at the same level, and all round the centre of
the temple at a distance of 24 braccia farther in, are pillars
corresponding to the eight pillars in the angles, and columns
corresponding to those placed in the outer spaces. These rise to the
same height as the former ones, and over these the continuous
architrave returns towards the outer row of pillars and columns.
[Footnote: Either this description is incomplete, or, as seems to me
highly probable, it refers to some ruin. The enormous dimensions
forbid our supposing this to be any temple in Italy or Greece. Syria
was the native land of colossal octagonal buildings, in the early
centuries A. D. The Temple of Baalbek, and others are even larger
than that here described. J. P. R.]
_V. Palace architecture.
But a small number of Leonardo's drawings refer to the architecture
of palaces, and our knowledge is small as to what style Leonardo
might have adopted for such buildings.
Pl. CII No. 1 (W. XVIII). A small portion of a facade of a palace
in two stories, somewhat resembling Alberti's Palazzo
Rucellai.--Compare with this Bramante's painted front of the Casa
Silvestri, and a painting by Montorfano in San Pietro in Gessate at
Milan, third chapel on the left hand side and also with Bramante's
palaces at Rome. The pilasters with arabesques, the rustica between
them, and the figures over the window may be painted or in
sgraffito. The original is drawn in red chalk.
Pl. LXXXI No. 1 (MS. Tr. 42). Sketch of a palace with battlements
and decorations, most likely graffiti; the details remind us of
those in the Castello at Vigevano._ [Footnote 1: _Count GIULIO
PORRO, in his valuable contribution to the_ Archivio Storico
Lombardo, Anno VIII, Fasc. IV (31 Dec. 1881): Leonardo da Vinci,
Libro di Annotazioni e Memorie, _refers to this in the following
note:_ "Alla pag. 41 vi e uno schizzo di volta ed accanto scrisse:
'il pilastro sara charicho in su 6' e potrebbe darsi che si
riferisse alla cupola della chiesa delle Grazie tanto piu che a
pag. 42 vi e un disegno che rassomiglia assai al basamento che oggi
si vede nella parte esterna del coro di quella chiesa." _This may
however be doubted. The drawing, here referred to, on page 41 of the
same manuscript, is reproduced on Pl. C No. 4 and described on page
61 as being a study for the cupola of the Duomo of Milan._ J. P. R.]
_MS. Mz. 0", contains a design for a palace or house with a loggia
in the middle of the first story, over which rises an attic with a
Pediment reproduced on page 67. The details drawn close by on the
left seem to indicate an arrangement of coupled columns against the
wall of a first story.
Pl. LXXXV No. 14 (MS. S. K. M. Ill 79a) contains a very slight
sketch in red chalk, which most probably is intended to represent
the facade of a palace. Inside is the short note 7 he 7 (7 and 7)._
_MS. J2 8a (see pages 68 Fig. 1 and 2) contains a view of an unknown
palace. Its plan is indicated at the side._
_In MS. Br. M. 126a(see Fig. 3 on page 68) there is a sketch of a
house, on which Leonardo notes; casa con tre terrazi (house with
_Pl. CX, No. 4 (MS. L. 36b) represents the front of a fortified
building drawn at Cesena in 1502 (see No. 1040)._
_Here we may also mention the singular building in the allegorical
composition represented on Pl. LVIII in Vol. I. In front of it
appears the head of a sphinx or of a dragon which seems to be
carrying the palace away._
_The following texts refer to the construction of palaces and other
buildings destined for private use:_
In the courtyard the walls must be half the height of its width,
that is if the court be 40 braccia, the house must be 20 high as
regards the walls of the said courtyard; and this courtyard must be
half as wide as the whole front.
[Footnote: See Pl. CI, no. 1, and compare the dimensions here given,
with No. 748 lines 26-29; and the drawing belonging to it Pl. LXXXI,
On the dispositions of a stable.
FOR MAKING A CLEAN STABLE.
The manner in which one must arrange a stable. You must first divide
its width in 3 parts, its depth matters not; and let these 3
divisions be equal and 6 braccia broad for each part and 10 high,
and the middle part shall be for the use of the stablemasters; the 2
side ones for the horses, each of which must be 6 braccia in width
and 6 in length, and be half a braccio higher at the head than
behind. Let the manger be at 2 braccia from the ground, to the
bottom of the rack, 3 braccia, and the top of it 4 braccia. Now, in
order to attain to what I promise, that is to make this place,
contrary to the general custom, clean and neat: as to the upper part
of the stable, i. e. where the hay is, that part must have at its
outer end a window 6 braccia high and 6 broad, through which by
simple means the hay is brought up to the loft, as is shown by the
machine _E_; and let this be erected in a place 6 braccia wide, and
as long as the stable, as seen at _k p_. The other two parts, which
are on either side of this, are again divided; those nearest to the
hay-loft are 4 braccia, _p s_, and only for the use and circulation
of the servants belonging to the stable; the other two which reach
to the outer walls are 2 braccia, as seen at _s k_, and these are
made for the purpose of giving hay to the mangers, by means of
funnels, narrow at the top and wide over the manger, in order that
the hay should not choke them. They must be well plastered and clean
and are represented at 4 _f s_. As to the giving the horses water,
the troughs must be of stone and above them [cisterns of] water. The
mangers may be opened as boxes are uncovered by raising the lids.
[Footnote: See Pl. LXXVIII, No.1.]
Decorations for feasts.
THE WAY TO CONSTRUCT A FRAME-WORK FOR DECORATING BUILDINGS.
The way in which the poles ought to be placed for tying bunches of
juniper on to them. These poles must lie close to the framework of
the vaulting and tie the bunches on with osier withes, so as to clip
them even afterwards with shears.
Let the distance from one circle to another be half a braccia; and
the juniper [sprigs] must lie top downwards, beginning from below.
Round this column tie four poles to which willows about as thick as
a finger must be nailed and then begin from the bottom and work
upwards with bunches of juniper sprigs, the tops downwards, that is
upside down. [Footnote: See Pl. CII, No. 3. The words here given as
the title line, lines 1--4, are the last in the original MS.--Lines
5--16 are written under fig. 4.]
The water should be allowed to fall from the whole circle _a b_.
[Footnote: Other drawings of fountains are given on Pl. CI (W. XX);
the original is a pen and ink drawing on blue paper; on Pl. CIII
(MS. B.) and Pl. LXXXII.]
_VI. Studies of architectural details._
_Several of Leonardo's drawings of architectural details prove that,
like other great masters of that period, he had devoted his
attention to the study of the proportion of such details. As every
organic being in nature has its law of construction and growth,
these masters endeavoured, each in his way, to discover and prove a
law of proportion in architecture. The following notes in Leonardo's
manuscripts refer to this subject._
_MS. S. K. M. Ill, 47b (see Fig. 1). A diagram, indicating the rules
as given by Vitruvius and by Leon Battista Alberti for the
proportions of the Attic base of a column._
_MS. S. K. M. Ill 55a (see Fig. 2). Diagram showing the same rules._
B toro superiore . . . . . toro superiore
2B nestroli . . . . . . astragali quadre
3B orbiculo . . . . . . . . troclea
4B nestroli . . . . . . astragali quadre
5B toro iferiore . . . . . . toro iferiore
6B latastro . . . . . . . . plintho
[Footnote: No explanation can be offered of the meaning of the
letter B, which precedes each name. It may be meant for _basa_
(base). Perhaps it refers to some author on architecture or an
architect (Bramante?) who employed the designations, thus marked for
the mouldings. 3. _troclea._ Philander: _Trochlea sive trochalia aut
rechanum._ 6. _Laterculus_ or _latastrum_ is the Latin name for
_Plinthus_ (pi lambda Xiv) but Vitruvius adopted this Greek name
and "latastro" seems to have been little in use. It is to be found
besides the text given above, as far as I am aware, only two
drawings of the Uffizi Collection, where in one instance, it
indicates the _abacus_ of a Doric capital.]
STEPS OF URRBINO.
The plinth must be as broad as the thickness of the wall against
which the plinth is built. [Footnote: See Pl. CX No. 3. The hasty
sketch on the right hand side illustrates the unsatisfactory effect
produced when the plinth is narrower than the wall.]
The ancient architects ...... beginning with the Egyptians (?) who,
as Diodorus Siculus writes, were the first to build and construct
large cities and castles, public and private buildings of fine form,
large and well proportioned .....
The column, which has its thickness at the third part .... The one
which would be thinnest in the middle, would break ...; the one
which is of equal thickness and of equal strength, is better for the
edifice. The second best as to the usefulness will be the one whose
greatest thickness is where it joins with the base.
[Footnote: See Pl. CIII, No. 3, where the sketches belonging to
lines 10--16 are reproduced, but reversed. The sketch of columns,
here reproduced by a wood cut, stands in the original close to lines
The capital must be formed in this way. Divide its thickness at the
top into 8; at the foot make it 5/7, and let it be 5/7 high and you
will have a square; afterwards divide the height into 8 parts as you
did for the column, and then take 1/8 for the echinus and another
eighth for the thickness of the abacus on the top of the capital.
The horns of the abacus of the capital have to project beyond the
greatest width of the bell 2/7, i. e. sevenths of the top of the
bell, so 1/7 falls to the projection of each horn. The truncated
part of the horns must be as broad as it is high. I leave the rest,
that is the ornaments, to the taste of the sculptors. But to return
to the columns and in order to prove the reason of their strength or
weakness according to their shape, I say that when the lines
starting from the summit of the column and ending at its base and
their direction and length ..., their distance apart or width may be
equal; I say that this column ...
The cylinder of a body columnar in shape and its two opposite ends
are two circles enclosed between parallel lines, and through the
centre of the cylinder is a straight line, ending at the centre of
these circles, and called by the ancients the axis.
[Footnote: Leonardo wrote these lines on the margin of a page of the
Trattato di Francesco di Giorgio, where there are several drawings
of columns, as well as a head drawn in profile inside an outline
sketch of a capital.]
_a b_ is 1/3 of _n m_; _m o_ is 1/6 of _r o_. The ovolo projects 1/6
of _r o_; _s_ 7 1/5 of _r o_, _a b_ is divided into 9 1/2; the
abacus is 3/9 the ovolo 4/9, the bead-moulding and the fillet 2/9
[Footnote: See Pl. LXXXV, No. 16. In the original the drawing and
writing are both in red chalk.]
_Pl. LXXXV No. 6 (MS. Ash. II 6b) contains a small sketch of a
capital with the following note, written in three lines:_ I chorni
del capitelo deono essere la quarta parte d'uno quadro _(The horns
of a capital must measure the fourth part of a square)._
_MS. S. K. M. III 72b contains two sketches of ornamentations of
_In MS. C. A. 308a; 938a (see Pl. LXXXII No. 1) there are several
sketches of columns. One of the two columns on the right is similar
to those employed by Bramante at the Canonica di S. Ambrogio. The
same columns appear in the sketch underneath the plan of a castle.
There they appear coupled, and in two stories one above the other.
The archivolls which seem to spring out of the columns, are shaped
like twisted cords, meant perhaps to be twisted branches. The walls
between the columns seem to be formed out of blocks of wood, the
pedestals are ornamented with a reticulated pattern. From all this
we may suppose that Leonardo here had in mind either some festive
decoration, or perhaps a pavilion for some hunting place or park.
The sketch of columns marked "35" gives an example of columns shaped
like candelabra, a form often employed at that time, particularly in
Milan, and the surrounding districts for instance in the Cortile di
Casa Castiglione now Silvestre, in the cathedral of Como, at Porta
della Rana &c._
CONCERNING ARCHITRAVES OF ONE OR SEVERAL PIECES.
An architrave of several pieces is stronger than that of one single
piece, if those pieces are placed with their length in the direction
of the centre of the world. This is proved because stones have their
grain or fibre generated in the contrary direction i. e. in the
direction of the opposite horizons of the hemisphere, and this is
contrary to fibres of the plants which have ...
[Footnote: The text is incomplete in the original.]
_The Proportions of the stories of a building are indicated by a
sketch in MS. S. K. M. II2 11b (see Pl. LXXXV No. 15). The measures
are written on the left side, as follows: br 1 1/2--6 3/4--br
1/12--2 br--9 e 1/2--1 1/2--br 5--o 9--o 3 [br=braccia; o=oncie].
Pl. LXXXV No. 13 (MS. B. 62a) and Pl. XCIII No. 1. (MS. B. 15a) give
a few examples of arches supported on piers._
Theoretical writings on Architecture.
Leonardo's original writings on the theory of Architecture have come
down to us only in a fragmentary state; still, there seems to be no
doubt that he himself did not complete them. It would seem that
Leonardo entertained the idea of writing a large and connected book
on Architecture; and it is quite evident that the materials we
possess, which can be proved to have been written at different
periods, were noted down with a more or less definite aim and
purpose. They might all be collected under the one title: "Studies
on the Strength of Materials". Among them the investigations on the