Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Complete by Leonardo Da Vinci

Part 7 out of 17

Adobe PDF icon
Download The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Complete pdf
File size: 0.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

nor reflected lights, nor lustrous bodies--as mirrors and the like
polished surfaces, nor mists, nor dark skies, nor an infinite number
of things which need not be told for fear of tedium. As regards the
power of resisting time, though they have this resistance [Footnote
19: From what is here said as to painting on copper it is very
evident that Leonardo was not acquainted with the method of painting
in oil on thin copper plates, introduced by the Flemish painters of
the XVIIth century. J. LERMOLIEFF has already pointed out that in
the various collections containing pictures by the great masters of
the Italian Renaissance, those painted on copper (for instance the
famous reading Magdalen in the Dresden Gallery) are the works of a
much later date (see _Zeitschrift fur bildende Kunst_. Vol. X pg.
333, and: _Werke italienischer Master in den Galerien von Munchen,
Dresden und Berlin_. Leipzig 1880, pg. 158 and 159.)--Compare No.
654, 29.], a picture painted on thick copper covered with white
enamel on which it is painted with enamel colours and then put into
the fire again and baked, far exceeds sculpture in permanence. It
may be said that if a mistake is made it is not easy to remedy it;
it is but a poor argument to try to prove that a work be the nobler
because oversights are irremediable; I should rather say that it
will be more difficult to improve the mind of the master who makes
such mistakes than to repair the work he has spoilt.


We know very well that a really experienced and good painter will
not make such mistakes; on the contrary, with sound rules he will
remove so little at a time that he will bring his work to a good
issue. Again the sculptor if working in clay or wax, can add or
reduce, and when his model is finished it can easily be cast in
bronze, and this is the last operation and is the most permanent
form of sculpture. Inasmuch as that which is merely of marble is
liable to ruin, but not bronze. Hence a painting done on copper
which as I said of painting may be added to or altered, resembles
sculpture in bronze, which, having first been made in wax could then
be altered or added to; and if sculpture in bronze is durable, this
work in copper and enamel is absolutely imperishable. Bronze is but
dark and rough after all, but this latter is covered with various
and lovely colours in infinite variety, as has been said above; or
if you will have me only speak of painting on panel, I am content to
pronounce between it and sculpture; saying that painting is the more
beautiful and the more imaginative and the more copious, while
sculpture is the more durable but it has nothing else. Sculpture
shows with little labour what in painting appears a miraculous thing
to do; to make what is impalpable appear palpable, flat objects
appear in relief, distant objects seem close. In fact painting is
adorned with infinite possibilities which sculpture cannot command.

Aphorisms (657-659).



Men and words are ready made, and you, O Painter, if you do not know
how to make your figures move, are like an orator who knows not how
to use his words.


As soon as the poet ceases to represent in words what exists in
nature, he in fact ceases to resemble the painter; for if the poet,
leaving such representation, proceeds to describe the flowery and
flattering speech of the figure, which he wishes to make the
speaker, he then is an orator and no longer a poet nor a painter.
And if he speaks of the heavens he becomes an astrologer, and
philosopher; and a theologian, if he discourses of nature or God.
But, if he restricts himself to the description of objects, he would
enter the lists against the painter, if with words he could satisfy
the eye as the painter does.


Though you may be able to tell or write the exact description of
forms, the painter can so depict them that they will appear alive,
with the shadow and light which show the expression of a face; which
you cannot accomplish with the pen though it can be achieved by the

On the history of painting (660. 661).



Hence the painter will produce pictures of small merit if he takes
for his standard the pictures of others. But if he will study from
natural objects he will bear good fruit; as was seen in the painters
after the Romans who always imitated each other and so their art
constantly declined from age to age. After these came Giotto the
Florentine who--not content with imitating the works of Cimabue his
master--being born in the mountains and in a solitude inhabited only
by goats and such beasts, and being guided by nature to his art,
began by drawing on the rocks the movements of the goats of which he
was keeper. And thus he began to draw all the animals which were to
be found in the country, and in such wise that after much study he
excelled not only all the masters of his time but all those of many
bygone ages. Afterwards this art declined again, because everyone
imitated the pictures that were already done; thus it went on from
century to century until Tomaso, of Florence, nicknamed Masaccio,
showed by his perfect works how those who take for their standard
any one but nature--the mistress of all masters--weary themselves in
vain. And, I would say about these mathematical studies that those
who only study the authorities and not the works of nature are
descendants but not sons of nature the mistress of all good authors.
Oh! how great is the folly of those who blame those who learn from
nature [Footnote 22: _lasciando stare li autori_. In this
observation we may detect an indirect evidence that Leonardo
regarded his knowledge of natural history as derived from his own
investigations, as well as his theories of perspective and optics.
Compare what he says in praise of experience (Vol II; _XIX_).],
setting aside those authorities who themselves were the disciples of


That the first drawing was a simple line drawn round the shadow of a
man cast by the sun on a wall.

The painter's scope.


The painter strives and competes with nature.


Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations.

An artist's manuscript notes can hardly be expected to contain any
thing more than incidental references to those masterpieces of his
work of which the fame, sounded in the writings of his
contemporaries, has left a glorious echo to posterity. We need not
therefore be surprised to find that the texts here reproduced do not
afford us such comprehensive information as we could wish. On the
other hand, the sketches and studies prepared by Leonardo for the
two grandest compositions he ever executed: The Fresco of the Last
Supper in the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie at Milan, and
the Cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari, for the Palazzo della
Signoria at Florence--have been preserved; and, though far from
complete, are so much more numerous than the manuscript notes, that
we are justified in asserting that in value and interest they amply
compensate for the meagerness of the written suggestions.

The notes for the composition of the Last Supper, which are given
under nos._ 665 _and_ 666 _occur in a MS. at South Kensington, II2,
written in the years_ 1494-1495. _This MS. sketch was noted down not
more than three or four years before the painting was executed,
which justifies the inference that at the time when it was written
the painter had not made up his mind definitely even as to the
general scheme of the work; and from this we may also conclude that
the drawings of apostles' heads at Windsor, in red chalk, must be
ascribed to a later date. They are studies for the head of St.
Matthew, the fourth figure on Christ's left hand--see Pl. XL VII,
the sketch (in black chalk) for the head of St. Philip, the third
figure on the left hand--see Pl. XL VIII, for St. Peter's right
arm--see Pl. XLIX, and for the expressive head of Judas which has
unfortunately somewhat suffered by subsequent restoration of
outlines,--see Pl. L. According to a tradition, as unfounded as it
is improbable, Leonardo made use of the head of Padre Bandelli, the
prior of the convent, as the prototype of his Judas; this however
has already been contradicted by Amoretti "Memorie storiche" cap.
XIV. The study of the head of a criminal on Pl. LI has, it seems to
me, a better claim to be regarded as one of the preparatory sketches
for the head of Judas. The Windsor collection contains two old
copies of the head of St. Simon, the figure to the extreme left of
Christ, both of about equal merit (they are marked as Nos._ 21 _and_
36_)--the second was reproduced on Pl. VIII of the Grosvenor
Gallery Publication in_ 1878. _There is also at Windsor a drawing in
black chalk of folded hands (marked with the old No._ 212; _No. LXI
of the Grosvenor Gallery Publication) which I believe to be a copy
of the hands of St. John, by some unknown pupil. A reproduction of
the excellent drawings of heads of Apostles in the possession of H.
R. H. the Grand Duchess of Weimar would have been out of my province
in this work, and, with regard to them, I must confine myself to
pointing out that the difference in style does not allow of our
placing the Weimar drawings in the same category as those here
reproduced. The mode of grouping in the Weimar drawings is of itself
sufficient to indicate that they were not executed before the
picture was painted, but, on the contrary, afterwards, and it is, on
the face of it, incredible that so great a master should thus have
copied from his own work.

The drawing of Christ's head, in the Brera palace at Milan was
perhaps originally the work of Leonardo's hand; it has unfortunately
been entirely retouched and re-drawn, so that no decisive opinion
can be formed as to its genuineness.

The red chalk drawing reproduced on Pl. XLVI is in the Accademia at
Venice; it was probably made before the text, Nos._ 664 _and_ 665,
_was written.

The two pen and ink sketches on Pl. XLV seem to belong to an even
earlier date; the more finished drawing of the two, on the right
hand, represents Christ with only St. John and Judas and a third
disciple whose action is precisely that described in No._ 666,
_Pl._ 4. _It is hardly necessary to observe that the other sketches
on this page and the lines of text below the circle (containing the
solution of a geometrical problem) have no reference to the picture
of the Last Supper. With this figure of Christ may be compared a
similar pen and ink drawing reproduced on page_ 297 _below on the
left hand; the original is in the Louvre. On this page again the
rest of the sketches have no direct bearing on the composition of
the Last Supper, not even, as it seems to me, the group of four men
at the bottom to the right hand--who are listening to a fifth, in
their midst addressing them. Moreover the writing on this page (an
explanation of a disk shaped instrument) is certainly not in the
same style as we find constantly used by Leonardo after the year_

_It may be incidentally remarked that no sketches are known for the
portrait of "Mona Lisa", nor do the MS. notes ever allude to it,
though according to Vasari the master had it in hand for fully four

Leonardo's cartoon for the picture of the battle of Anghiari has
shared the fate of the rival work, Michaelangelo's "Bathers summoned
to Battle". Both have been lost in some wholly inexplicable manner.
I cannot here enter into the remarkable history of this work; I can
only give an account of what has been preserved to us of Leonardo's
scheme and preparations for executing it. The extent of the material
in studies and drawings was till now quite unknown. Their
publication here may give some adequate idea of the grandeur of this
famous work. The text given as No._ 669 _contains a description of
the particulars of the battle, but for the reasons given in the note
to this text, I must abandon the idea of taking this passage as the
basis of my attempt to reconstruct the picture as the artist
conceived and executed it.

I may here remind the reader that Leonardo prepared the cartoon in
the Sala del Papa of Santa Maria Novella at Florence and worked
there from the end of October 1503 till February 1504, and then was
busied with the painting in the Sala del Consiglio in the Palazzo
della Signoria, till the work was interrupted at the end of May
1506. (See Milanesi's note to Vasari pp. 43--45 Vol. IV ed. 1880.)
Vasari, as is well known, describes only one scene or episode of the
cartoon--the Battle for the Standard in the foreground of the
composition, as it would seem; and this only was ever finished as a
mural decoration in the Sala del Consiglio. This portion of the
composition is familiar to all from the disfigured copy engraved by
Edelinck. Mariette had already very acutely observed that Edelinck
must surely have worked from a Flemish copy of the picture. There is
in the Louvre a drawing by Rubens (No. 565) which also represents
four horsemen fighting round a standard and which agrees with
Edelinck's engraving, but the engraving reverses the drawing. An
earlier Flemish drawing, such as may have served as the model for
both Rubens and Edelinck, is in the Uffizi collection (see
Philpots's Photograph, No. 732). It seems to be a work of the second
half of the XVIth century, a time when both the picture and the
cartoon had already been destroyed. It is apparently the production
of a not very skilled hand. Raphael Trichet du Fresne, 1651,
mentions that a small picture by Leonardo himself of the Battle of
the Standard was then extant in the Tuileries; by this he probably
means the painting on panel which is now in the possession of Madame
Timbal in Paris, and which has lately been engraved by Haussoullier
as a work by Leonardo. The picture, which is very carefully painted,
seems to me however to be the work of some unknown Florentine
painter, and probably executed within the first ten years of the
XVIth century. At the same time, it would seem to be a copy not from
Leonardo's cartoon, but from his picture in the Palazzo della
Signoria; at any rate this little picture, and the small Flemish
drawing in Florence are the oldest finished copies of this episode
in the great composition of the Battle of Anghiari.

In his Life of Raphael, Vasari tells us that Raphael copied certain
works of Leonardo's during his stay in Florence. Raphael's first
visit to Florence lasted from the middle of October 1504 till July
1505, and he revisited it in the summer of 1506. The hasty sketch,
now in the possession of the University of Oxford and reproduced on
page 337 also represents the Battle of the Standard and seems to
have been made during his first stay, and therefore not from the
fresco but from the cartoon; for, on the same sheet we also find,
besides an old man's head drawn in Leonardo's style, some studies
for the figure of St. John the Martyr which Raphael used in 1505 in
his great fresco in the Church of San Severo at Perugia.

Of Leonardo's studies for the Battle of Anghiari I must in the first
place point to five, on three of which--Pl. LII 2, Pl. LIII, Pl.
LVI--we find studies for the episode of the Standard. The standard
bearer, who, in the above named copies is seen stooping, holding on
to the staff across his shoulder, is immediately recognisable as the
left-hand figure in Raphael's sketch, and we find it in a similar
attitude in Leonardo's pen and ink drawing in the British
Museum--Pl. LII, 2--the lower figure to the right. It is not
difficult to identify the same figure in two more complicated groups
in the pen and ink drawings, now in the Accademia at Venice--Pl.
LIII, and Pl. LIV--where we also find some studies of foot soldiers
fighting. On the sheet in the British Museum--Pl. LII, 2--we find,
among others, one group of three horses galloping forwards: one
horseman is thrown and protects himself with his buckler against the
lance thrusts of two others on horseback, who try to pierce him as
they ride past. The same action is repeated, with some variation, in
two sketches in pen and ink on a third sheet, in the Accademia at
Venice, Pl. LV; a coincidence which suggests the probability of such
an incident having actually been represented on the cartoon. We are
not, it is true, in a position to declare with any certainty which
of these three dissimilar sketches may have been the nearest to the
group finally adopted in executing the cartoon.

With regard, however, to one of the groups of horsemen it is
possible to determine with perfect certainty not only which
arrangement was preferred, but the position it occupied in the
composition. The group of horsemen on Pl. LVII is a drawing in black
chalk at Windsor, which is there attributed to Leonardo, but which
appears to me to be the work of Cesare da Sesto, and the
Commendatore Giov. Morelli supports me in this view. It can hardly
be doubted that da Sesto, as a pupil of Leonardo's, made this
drawing from his master's cartoon, if we compare it with the copy
made by Raphael--here reproduced, for just above the fighting
horseman in Raphael's copy it is possible to detect a horse which is
seen from behind, going at a slower pace, with his tail flying out
to the right and the same horse may be seen in the very same
attitude carrying a dimly sketched rider, in the foreground of
Cesare da Sesto's drawing._

_If a very much rubbed drawing in black chalk at Windsor--Pl.
LVI--is, as it appears to be, the reversed impression of an original
drawing, it is not difficult to supplement from it the portions
drawn by Cesare da Sesto. Nay, it may prove possible to reconstruct
the whole of the lost cartoon from the mass of materials we now have
at hand which we may regard as the nucleus of the composition. A
large pen and ink drawing by Raphael in the Dresden collection,
representing three horsemen fighting, and another, by Cesare da
Sesto, in the Uffizi, of light horsemen fighting are a further
contribution which will help us to reconstruct it._

_The sketch reproduced on Pl. LV gives a suggestive example of the
way in which foot-soldiers may have been introduced into the cartoon
as fighting among the groups of horsemen; and I may here take the
opportunity of mentioning that, for reasons which it would be out of
place to enlarge upon here, I believe the two genuine drawings by
Raphael's hand in his "Venetian sketch-book" as it is called--one of
a standard bearer marching towards the left, and one of two
foot-soldiers armed with spears and fighting with a horseman--to be
undoubtedly copies from the cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari._

_Leonardo's two drawings, preserved in the museum at Buda-Pesth and
reproduced on pages 338 and 339 are preliminary studies for the
heads of fighting warriors. The two heads drawn in black chalk (pg.
338) and the one seen in profile, turned to the left, drawn in red
chalk (pg. 339), correspond exactly with those of two horsemen in
the scene of the fight round the standard as we see them in Madame
Timbal's picture and in the other finished copies. An old copy of
the last named drawing by a pupil of Leonardo is in MS. C. A. 187b;
561b (See Saggio, Tav. XXII). Leonardo used to make such finished
studies of heads as those, drawn on detached sheets, before
beginning his pictures from his drawings--compare the preparatory
studies for the fresco of the Last Supper, given on Pl. XLVII and
Pl. L. Other drawings of heads, all characterised by the expression
of vehement excitement that is appropriate to men fighting, are to
be seen at Windsor (No. 44) and at the Accademia at Venice (IV, 13);
at the back of one of the drawings at Buda-Pesth there is the bust
of a warrior carrying a spear on his left shoulder, holding up the
left arm (See Csatakepek a XVI--lk Szazadbol osszeallitotta Pvlszky
Karoly). These drawings may have been made for other portions of the
cartoon, of which no copies exist, and thus we are unable to
identify these preparatory drawings. Finally I may add that a sketch
of fighting horse and foot soldiers, formerly in the possession of
M. Thiers and published by Charles Blanc in his "Vies des Peintres"
can hardly be accepted as genuine. It is not to be found, as I am
informed, among the late President's property, and no one appears to
know where it now is._

_An attempted reconstruction of the Cartoon, which is not only
unsuccessful but perfectly unfounded, is to be seen in the
lithograph by Bergeret, published in Charles Blanc's "Vies des
peintres" and reprinted in "The great Artists. L. da Vinci", p. 80.
This misleading pasticcio may now be rejected without hesitation._

_There are yet a few original drawings by Leonardo which might be
mentioned here as possibly belonging to the cartoon of the Battle;
such as the pen and ink sketches on Pl. XXI and on Pl. XXXVIII, No.
3, but we should risk too wide a departure from the domain of
ascertained fact._

_With regard to the colours and other materials used by Leonardo the
reader may be referred to the quotations from the accounts for the
picture in question given by Milanesi in his edition of Vasari (Vol.
IV, p. 44, note) where we find entries of a similar character to
those in Leonardo's note books for the year 1505; S. K. M. 12 (see
No. 636)._

_That Leonardo was employed in designing decorations and other
preparations for high festivals, particularly for the court of
Milan, we learn not only from the writings of his contemporaries but
from his own incidental allusions; for instance in MS. C. l5b (1),
l. 9. In the arrangement of the texts referring to this I have
placed those first, in which historical personages are named--Nos.
670-674. Among the descriptions of Allegorical subjects two texts
lately found at Oxford have been included, Nos. 676 and 677. They
are particularly interesting because they are accompanied by large
sketches which render the meaning of the texts perfectly clear. It
is very intelligible that in other cases, where there are no
illustrative sketches, the notes must necessarily remain obscure or
admit of various interpretations. The literature of the time affords
ample evidence of the use of such allegorical representations,
particularly during the Carnival and in Leonardo's notes we find the
Carnival expressly mentioned--Nos. 685 and 704. Vasari in his Life
of Pontormo, particularly describes that artist's various
undertakings for Carnival festivities. These very graphic
descriptions appear to me to throw great light in more ways than one
on the meaning of Leonardo's various notes as to allegorical
representations and also on mottoes and emblems--Nos. 681-702. In
passing judgment on the allegorical sketches and emblems it must not
be overlooked that even as pictures they were always accompanied by
explanations in words. Several finished drawings of allegorical
compositions or figures have been preserved, but as they have no
corresponding explanation in the MSS. they had no claim to be
reproduced here. The female figure on Pl. XXVI may perhaps be
regarded as a study for such an allegorical painting, of which the
purport would have been explained by an inscription._

On Madonna pictures.


[In the autumn of] 1478 I began the two Madonna [pictures].

[Footnote: Photographs of this page have been published by BRAUN,
No. 439, and PHILPOT, No. 718.

1. _Incominciai_. We have no other information as to the two
pictures of the Madonna here spoken of. As Leonardo here tells us
that he had begun two Madonnas at the same time, the word
'_incominciai_' may be understood to mean that he had begun at the
same time preparatory studies for two pictures to be painted later.
If this is so, the non-existence of the pictures may be explained by
supposing that they were only planned and never executed. I may here
mention a few studies for pictures of the Madonna which probably
belong to this early time; particularly a drawing in silver-point on
bluish tinted paper at Windsor--see Pl. XL, No. 3--, a drawing of
which the details have almost disappeared in the original but have
been rendered quite distinct in the reproduction; secondly a slight
pen and ink sketch in, the Codex VALLARDI, in the Louvre, fol. 64,
No. 2316; again a silver point drawing of a Virgin and child drawn
over again with the pen in the His de la Salle collection also in
the Louvre, No. 101. (See Vicomte BOTH DE TAUZIA, _Notice des
dessins de la collection His de la Salle, exposes au Louvre_. Paris
1881, pp. 80, 81.) This drawing is, it is true, traditionally
ascribed to Raphael, but the author of the catalogue very justly
points out its great resemblance with the sketches for Madonnas in
the British Museum which are indisputably Leonardo's. Some of these
have been published by Mr. HENRY WALLIS in the Art Journal, New Ser.
No. 14, Feb. 1882. If the non-existence of the two pictures here
alluded to justifies my hypothesis that only studies for such
pictures are meant by the text, it may also be supposed that the
drawings were made for some comrade in VERROCCHIO'S atelier. (See
VASARI, Sansoni's ed. Florence 1880. Vol. IV, p. 564): "_E perche a
Lerenzo piaceva fuor di modo la maniera di Lionardo, la seppe cosi
bene imitare, che niuno fu che nella pulitezza e nel finir l'opere
con diligenza l'imitasse più di lui_." Leonardo's notes give me no
opportunity of discussing the pictures executed by him in Florence,
before he moved to Milan. So the studies for the unfinished picture
of the Adoration of the Magi--in the Uffizi, Florence--cannot be
described here, nor would any discussion about the picture in the
Louvre "_La Vierge aux Rochers_" be appropriate in the absence of
all allusion to it in the MSS. Therefore, when I presently add a few
remarks on this painting in explanation of the Master's drawings for
it, it will be not merely with a view to facilitate critical
researches about the picture now in the National Gallery, London,
which by some critics has been pronounced to be a replica of the
Louvre picture, but also because I take this opportunity of
publishing several finished studies of the Master's which, even if
they were not made in Florence but later in Milan, must have been
prior to the painting of the Last Supper. The original picture in
Paris is at present so disfigured by dust and varnish that the
current reproductions in photography actually give evidence more of
the injuries to which the picture has been exposed than of the
original work itself. The wood-cut given on p. 344, is only intended
to give a general notion of the composition. It must be understood
that the outline and expression of the heads, which in the picture
is obscured but not destroyed, is here altogether missed. The
facsimiles which follow are from drawings which appear to me to be
studies for "_La Vierge aux Rochers_."

1. A drawing in silver point on brown toned paper of a woman's head
looking to the left. In the Royal Library at Turin, apparently a
study from nature for the Angel's head (Pl. XLII).

2. A study of drapery for the left leg of the same figure, done with
the brush, Indian ink on greenish paper, the lights heightened with

The original is at Windsor, No. 223. The reproduction Pl. XLIII is
defective in the shadow on the upper part of the thigh, which is not
so deep as in the original; it should also be observed that the
folds of the drapery near the hips are somewhat altered in the
finished work in the Louvre, while the London copy shows a greater
resemblance to this study in that particular.

3. A study in red chalk for the bust of the Infant Christ--No. 3 in
the Windsor collection (Pl. XLIV). The well-known silver-point
drawing on pale green paper, in the Louvre, of a boy's head (No. 363
in REISET, _Notice des dessins, Ecoles d'Italie_) seems to me to be
a slightly altered copy, either from the original picture or from
this red chalk study.

4. A silver-point study on greenish paper, for the head of John the
Baptist, reproduced on p. 342. This was formerly in the Codex
Vallardi and is now exhibited among the drawings in the Louvre. The
lights are, in the original, heightened with white; the outlines,
particularly round the head and ear, are visibly restored.

There is a study of an outstretched hand--No. 288 in the Windsor
collection--which was published in the Grosvenor Gallery
Publication, 1878, simply under the title of: "No. 72 Study of a
hand, pointing" which, on the other hand, I regard as a copy by a
pupil. The action occurs in the kneeling angel of the Paris picture
and not in the London copy.

These four genuine studies form, I believe, a valuable substitute in
the absence of any MS. notes referring to the celebrated Paris

Bernardo di Bandino's Portrait.


A tan-coloured small cap, A doublet of black serge, A black jerkin
lined A blue coat lined, with fur of foxes' breasts, and the collar
of the jerkin covered with black and white stippled velvet Bernardo
di Bandino Baroncelli; black hose.

[Footnote: These eleven lines of text are by the side of the pen and
ink drawing of a man hanged--Pl. LXII, No. 1. This drawing was
exhibited in 1879 at the _Ecole des Beaux-Arts_ in Paris and the
compilers of the catalogue amused themselves by giving the victim's
name as follows: "_Un pendu, vetu d'une longue robe, les mains liées
sur le dos ... Bernardo di Bendino Barontigni, marchand de
pantalons_" (see _Catalogue descriptif des Dessins de Mailres
anciens exposes a l'Ecole des Beaux Arts_, Paris 1879; No. 83, pp.
9-10). Now, the criminal represented here, is none other than
Bernardino di Bandino Baroncelli the murderer of Giuliano de'Medici,
whose name as a coadjutor in the conspiracy of the Pazzi has gained
a melancholy notoriety by the tragedy of the 26th April 1478.
Bernardo was descended from an ancient family and the son of the man
who, under King Ferrante, was President of the High Court of Justice
in Naples. His ruined fortunes, it would seem, induced him to join
the Pazzi; he and Francesco Pazzi were entrusted with the task of
murdering Giuliano de'Medici on the fixed day. Their victim not
appearing in the cathedral at the hour when they expected him, the
two conspirators ran to the palace of the Medici and induced him to
accompany them. Giuliano then took his place in the chancel of the
Cathedral, and as the officiating priest raised the Host--the sign
agreed upon--Bernardo stabbed the unsuspecting Giuliano in the
breast with a short sword; Giuliano stepped backwards and fell dead.
The attempt on Lorenzo's life however, by the other conspirators at
the same moment, failed of success. Bernardo no sooner saw that
Lorenzo tried to make his escape towards the sacristy, than he
rushed upon him, and struck down Francesco Nori who endeavoured to
protect Lorenzo. How Lorenzo then took refuge behind the brazen
doors of the sacristy, and how, as soon as Giuliano's death was made
known, the further plans of the conspirators were defeated, while a
terrible vengeance overtook all the perpetrators and accomplices,
this is no place to tell. Bernardo Bandini alone seemed to be
favoured by fortune; he hid first in the tower of the Cathedral, and
then escaped undiscovered from Florence. Poliziano, who was with
Lorenzo in the Cathedral, says in his 'Conjurationis Pactianae
Commentarium': "_Bandinus fugitans in Tiphernatem incidit, a quo in
aciem receptus Senas pervenit_." And Gino Capponi in summing up the
reports of the numerous contemporary narrators of the event, says:
"_Bernardo Bandini ricoverato in Costantinopoli, fu per ordine del
Sultano preso e consegnato a un Antonio di Bernardino dei Medici,
che Lorenzo aveva mandato apposta in Turchia: così era grande la
potenza di quest' uomo e grande la voglia di farne mostra e che non
restasse in vita chi aveagli ucciso il fratello, fu egli applicato
appena giunto_" (_Storia della Republica di Firenze II_, 377, 378).
Details about the dates may be found in the _Chronichetta di
Belfredello Strinati Alfieri_: "_Bernardo di Bandino Bandini
sopradetto ne venne preso da Gostantinopoti a dì 14. Dicembre 1479 e
disaminato, che fu al Bargello, fu impiccato alle finestre di detto
Bargello allato alla Doana a dì 29. Dicembre MCCCCLXXIX che pochi dì
stette_." It may however be mentioned with reference to the mode of
writing the name of the assassin that, though most of his
contemporaries wrote Bernardo Bandini, in the _Breve Chronicon
Caroli Petri de Joanninis_ he is called Bernardo di Bandini
Baroncelli; and, in the _Sententiae Domini Matthaei de Toscana_,
Bernardus Joannis Bandini de Baroncellis, as is written on
Leonardo's drawing of him when hanged. Now VASARI, in the life of
_Andrea del Castagno_ (Vol. II, 680; ed. Milanesi 1878), tells us
that in 1478 this painter was commissioned by order of the Signoria
to represent the members of the Pazzi conspiracy as traitors, on the
facade of the Palazzo del Podestà--the Bargello. This statement is
obviously founded on a mistake, for Andrea del Castagno was already
dead in 1457. He had however been commissioned to paint Rinaldo
degli Albizzi, when declared a rebel and exiled in 1434, and his
adherents, as hanging head downwards; and in consequence he had
acquired the nickname of Andrea degl' Impiccati. On the 21st July
1478 the Council of Eight came to the following resolution: "_item
servatis etc. deliberaverunt et santiaverunt Sandro Botticelli pro
ejus labore in pingendo proditores flor. quadraginta largos_" (see
G. MILANESI, _Arch. star. VI_ (1862) p. 5 note.)

As has been told, Giuliano de' Medici was murdered on the 26th April
1478, and we see by this that only three months later Botticelli was
paid for his painting of the "_proditores_". We can however hardly
suppose that all the members of the conspiracy were depicted by him
in fresco on the facade of the palace, since no fewer than eighty
had been condemned to death. We have no means of knowing whether,
besides Botticelli, any other painters, perhaps Leonardo, was
commissioned, when the criminals had been hanged in person out of
the windows of the Palazzo del Podestà to represent them there
afterwards in effigy in memory of their disgrace. Nor do we know
whether the assassin who had escaped may at first not have been
provisionally represented as hanged in effigy. Now, when we try to
connect the historical facts with this drawing by Leonardo
reproduced on Pl. LXII, No. I, and the full description of the
conspirator's dress and its colour on the same sheet, there seems to
be no reasonable doubt that Bernardo Bandini is here represented as
he was actually hanged on December 29th, 1479, after his capture at
Constantinople. The dress is certainly not that in which he
committed the murder. A long furred coat might very well be worn at
Constantinople or at Florence in December, but hardly in April. The
doubt remains whether Leonardo described Bernardo's dress so fully
because it struck him as remarkable, or whether we may not rather
suppose that this sketch was actually made from nature with the
intention of using it as a study for a wall painting to be executed.
It cannot be denied that the drawing has all the appearance of
having been made for this purpose. Be this as it may, the sketch
under discussion proves, at any rate, that Leonardo was in Florence
in December 1479, and the note that accompanies it is valuable as
adding one more characteristic specimen to the very small number of
his MSS. that can be proved to have been written between 1470 and

Notes on the Last Supper (665-668).


One who was drinking and has left the glass in its position and
turned his head towards the speaker.

Another, twisting the fingers of his hands together turns with stern
brows to his companion [6]. Another with his hands spread open shows
the palms, and shrugs his shoulders up his ears making a mouth of
astonishment [8].

[9] Another speaks into his neighbour's ear and he, as he listens to
him, turns towards him to lend an ear [10], while he holds a knife
in one hand, and in the other the loaf half cut through by the
knife. [13] Another who has turned, holding a knife in his hand,
upsets with his hand a glass on the table [14].

[Footnote 665, 666: In the original MS. there is no sketch to
accompany these passages, and if we compare them with those drawings
made by Leonardo in preparation for the composition of the
picture--Pl. XLV, XLVI--, (compare also Pl. LII, 1 and the drawings
on p. 297) it is impossible to recognise in them a faithful
interpretation of the whole of this text; but, if we compare these
passages with the finished picture (see p. 334) we shall see that in
many places they coincide. For instance, compare No. 665, 1. 6--8,
with the fourth figure on the right hand of Christ. The various
actions described in lines 9--10, 13--14 are to be seen in the group
of Peter, John and Judas; in the finished picture however it is not
a glass but a salt cellar that Judas is upsetting.]


Another lays his hand on the table and is looking. Another blows his
mouthful. [3] Another leans forward to see the speaker shading his
eyes with his hand. [5] Another draws back behind the one who leans
forward, and sees the speaker between the wall and the man who is
leaning [Footnote: 6. _chinato_. I have to express my regret for
having misread this word, written _cinato_ in the original, and
having altered it to _"ciclo"_ when I first published this text, in
'The Academy' for Nov. 8, 1879 immediately after I had discovered
it, and subsequently in the small biography of Leonardo da Vinci
(Great Artists) p. 29.].

[Footnote: In No. 666. Line I must refer to the furthest figure on
the left; 3, 5 and 6 describe actions which are given to the group
of disciples on the left hand of Christ.]



Count Giovanni, the one with the Cardinal of Mortaro.

[Footnote: As this note is in the same small Manuscript as the
passage here immediately preceding it, I may be justified in
assuming that Leonardo meant to use the features of the person here
named as a suitable model for the figure of Christ. The celebrated
drawing of the head of Christ, now hanging in the Brera Gallery at
Milan, has obviously been so much restored that it is now impossible
to say, whether it was ever genuine. We have only to compare it with
the undoubtedly genuine drawings of heads of the disciples in PI.
XLVII, XLVIII and L, to admit that not a single line of the Milan
drawing in its present state can be by the same hand.]


Philip, Simon, Matthew, Thomas, James the Greater, Peter, Philip,
Andrew, Bartholomew.

[Footnote: See PI. XLVI. The names of the disciples are given in the
order in which they are written in the original, from right to left,
above each head. The original drawing is here slightly reduced in
scale; it measures 39 centimetres in length by 26 in breadth.]


On the battle of Anghiari.
Neri di Gino Capponi
Bernardetto de' Medici
Niccolo da Pisa
Conte Francesco
Pietro Gian Paolo
Guelfo Orsino,
Messer Rinaldo degli

Begin with the address of Niccolo Piccinino to the soldiers and the
banished Florentines among whom are Messer Rinaldo degli Albizzi and
other Florentines. Then let it be shown how he first mounted on
horseback in armour; and the whole army came after him--40 squadrons
of cavalry, and 2000 foot soldiers went with him. Very early in the
morning the Patriarch went up a hill to reconnoitre the country,
that is the hills, fields and the valley watered by a river; and
from thence he beheld Niccolo Picinino coming from Borgo San
Sepolcro with his people, and with a great dust; and perceiving them
he returned to the camp of his own people and addressed them. Having
spoken he prayed to God with clasped hands, when there appeared a
cloud in which Saint Peter appeared and spoke to the Patriarch.--500
cavalry were sent forward by the Patriarch to hinder or check the
rush of the enemy. In the foremost troop Francesco the son of
Niccolo Piccinino [24] was the first to attack the bridge which was
held by the Patriarch and the Florentines. Beyond the bridge to his
left he sent forward some infantry to engage ours, who drove them
back, among whom was their captain Micheletto [29] whose lot it was
to be that day at the head of the army. Here, at this bridge there
is a severe struggle; our men conquer and the enemy is repulsed.
Here Guido and Astorre, his brother, the Lord of Faenza with a great
number of men, re-formed and renewed the fight, and rushed upon the
Florentines with such force that they recovered the bridge and
pushed forward as far as the tents. But Simonetto advanced with 600
horse, and fell upon the enemy and drove them back once more from
the place, and recaptured the bridge; and behind him came more men
with 2000 horse soldiers. And thus for a long time they fought with
varying fortune. But then the Patriarch, in order to divert the
enemy, sent forward Niccolo da Pisa [44] and Napoleone Orsino, a
beardless lad, followed by a great multitude of men, and then was
done another great feat of arms. At the same time Niccolo Piccinino
urged forward the remnant of his men, who once more made ours give
way; and if it had not been that the Patriarch set himself at their
head and, by his words and deeds controlled the captains, our
soldiers would have taken to flight. The Patriarch had some
artillery placed on the hill and with these he dispersed the enemy's
infantry; and the disorder was so complete that Niccolo began to
call back his son and all his men, and they took to flight towards
Borgo. And then began a great slaughter of men; none escaped but the
foremost of those who had fled or who hid themselves. The battle
continued until sunset, when the Patriarch gave his mind to
recalling his men and burying the dead, and afterwards a trophy was

[Footnote: 669. This passage does not seem to me to be in Leonardo's
hand, though it has hitherto been generally accepted as genuine. Not
only is the writing unlike his, but the spelling also is quite
different. I would suggest that this passage is a description of the
events of the battle drawn up for the Painter by order of the
Signoria, perhaps by some historian commissioned by them, to serve
as a scheme or programme of the work. The whole tenor of the style
seems to me to argue in favour of this theory; and besides, it would
be in no way surprising that such a document should have been
preserved among Leonardo's autographs.]

Allegorical representations referring to the duke of Milan


Ermine with blood Galeazzo, between calm weather and a
representation of a tempest.

[Footnote: 670. Only the beginning of this text is legible; the
writing is much effaced and the sense is consequently obscure. It
seems to refer like the following passage to an allegorical


Il Moro with spectacles, and Envy depicted with False Report and
Justice black for il Moro.

Labour as having a branch of vine [_or_ a screw] in her hand.


Il Moro as representing Good Fortune, with hair, and robes, and his
hands in front, and Messer Gualtieri taking him by the robes with a
respectful air from below, having come in from the front [5].

Again, Poverty in a hideous form running behind a youth. Il Moro
covers him with the skirt of his robe, and with his gilt sceptre he
threatens the monster.

A plant with its roots in the air to represent one who is at his
last;--a robe and Favour.

Of tricks [_or_ of magpies] and of burlesque poems [_or_ of

Those who trust themselves to live near him, and who will be a large
crowd, these shall all die cruel deaths; and fathers and mothers
together with their families will be devoured and killed by cruel

[Footnote: 1--10 have already been published by _Amoretti_ in
_Memorie Storiche_ cap. XII. He adds this note with regard to
Gualtieri: "_A questo M. Gualtieri come ad uomo generoso e benefico
scrive il Bellincioni un Sonetto (pag, 174) per chiedergli un
piacere; e 'l Tantio rendendo ragione a Lodovico il Moro, perche
pubblicasse le Rime del Bellincioni; ciò hammi imposto, gli dice:
l'humano fidele, prudente e sollicito executore delli tuoi
comandamenti Gualtero, che fa in tutte le cose ove tu possi far
utile, ogni studio vi metti._" A somewhat mysterious and evidently
allegorical composition--a pen and ink drawing--at Windsor, see PL
LVIII, contains a group of figures in which perhaps the idea is
worked out which is spoken of in the text, lines 1-5.]


He was blacker than a hornet, his eyes were as red as a burning fire
and he rode on a tall horse six spans across and more than 20 long
with six giants tied up to his saddle-bow and one in his hand which
he gnawed with his teeth. And behind him came boars with tusks
sticking out of their mouths, perhaps ten spans.

Allegorical representations (674--678).


Above the helmet place a half globe, which is to signify our
hemisphere, in the form of a world; on which let there be a peacock,
richly decorated, and with his tail spread over the group; and every
ornament belonging to the horse should be of peacock's feathers on a
gold ground, to signify the beauty which comes of the grace bestowed
on him who is a good servant.

On the shield a large mirror to signify that he who truly desires
favour must be mirrored in his virtues.

On the opposite side will be represented Fortitude, in like manner
in her place with her pillar in her hand, robed in white, to signify
... And all crowned; and Prudence with 3 eyes. The housing of the
horse should be of plain cloth of gold closely sprinkled with
peacock's eyes, and this holds good for all the housings of the
horse, and the man's dress. And the man's crest and his neck-chain
are of peacock's feathers on golden ground.

On the left side will be a wheel, the centre of which should be
attached to the centre of the horse's hinder thigh piece, and in the
centre Prudence is seen robed in red, Charity sitting in a fiery
chariot and with a branch of laurel in her hand, to signify the hope
which comes of good service.

[21] Messer Antonio Grimani of Venice companion of Antonio Maria

[Footnote: _Messer Antonio Gri_. His name thus abbreviated is, there
can be no doubt, Grimani. Antonio Grimani was the famous Doge who in
1499 commanded the Venetian fleet in battle against the Turks. But
after the abortive conclusion of the expedition--Ludovico being the
ally of the Turks who took possession of Friuli--, Grimani was driven
into exile; he went to live at Rome with his son Cardinal Domenico
Grimani. On being recalled to Venice he filled the office of Doge
from 1521 to 1523. _Antonio Maria_ probably means Antonio Maria
Grimani, the Patriarch of Aquileia.]


Fame should be depicted as covered all over with tongues instead of
feathers, and in the figure of a bird.


Pleasure and Pain represent as twins, since there never is one
without the other; and as if they were united back to back, since
they are contrary to each other.

[6] Clay, gold.

[Footnote: 7. _oro. fango_: gold, clay. These words stand below the
allegorical figure.]

If you take Pleasure know that he has behind him one who will deal
you Tribulation and Repentance.

[9] This represents Pleasure together with Pain, and show them as
twins because one is never apart from the other. They are back to
back because they are opposed to each other; and they exist as
contraries in the same body, because they have the same basis,
inasmuch as the origin of pleasure is labour and pain, and the
various forms of evil pleasure are the origin of pain. Therefore it
is here represented with a reed in his right hand which is useless
and without strength, and the wounds it inflicts are poisoned. In
Tuscany they are put to support beds, to signify that it is here
that vain dreams come, and here a great part of life is consumed. It
is here that much precious time is wasted, that is, in the morning,
when the mind is composed and rested, and the body is made fit to
begin new labours; there again many vain pleasures are enjoyed; both
by the mind in imagining impossible things, and by the body in
taking those pleasures that are often the cause of the failing of
life. And for these reasons the reed is held as their support.

[Footnote: 676. The pen and ink drawing on PI. LIX belongs to this

[Footnote: 8. _tribolatione_. In the drawing caltrops may be seen
lying in the old man's right hand, others are falling and others
again are shewn on the ground. Similar caltrops are drawn in MS.
Tri. p. 98 and underneath them, as well as on page 96 the words
_triboli di ferro_ are written. From the accompanying text it
appears that they were intended to be scattered on the ground at the
bottom of ditches to hinder the advance of the enemy. Count Giulio
Porro who published a short account of the Trivulzio MS. in the
"_Archivio Storico Lombardo_", Anno VIII part IV (Dec. 31, 1881) has
this note on the passages treating of "_triboli_": "_E qui
aggiungerò che anni sono quando venne fabbricata la nuova
cavallerizza presso il castello di Milano, ne furono trovati due che
io ho veduto ed erano precisamente quali si trovano descritti e
disegnati da Leonardo in questo codice_".

There can therefore be no doubt that this means of defence was in
general use, whether it were originally Leonardo's invention or not.
The play on the word "_tribolatione_", as it occurs in the drawing
at Oxford, must then have been quite intelligible.]

[Footnote: 9--22. These lines, in the original, are written on the
left side of the page and refer to the figure shown on PI. LXI. Next
to it is placed the group of three figures given in PI. LX No. I.
Lines 21 and 22, which are written under it, are the only
explanation given.]

Evil-thinking is either Envy or Ingratitude.


Envy must be represented with a contemptuous motion of the hand
towards heaven, because if she could she would use her strength
against God; make her with her face covered by a mask of fair
seeming; show her as wounded in the eye by a palm branch and by an
olive-branch, and wounded in the ear by laurel and myrtle, to
signify that victory and truth are odious to her. Many thunderbolts
should proceed from her to signify her evil speaking. Let her be
lean and haggard because she is in perpetual torment. Make her heart
gnawed by a swelling serpent, and make her with a quiver with
tongues serving as arrows, because she often offends with it. Give
her a leopard's skin, because this creature kills the lion out of
envy and by deceit. Give her too a vase in her hand full of flowers
and scorpions and toads and other venomous creatures; make her ride
upon death, because Envy, never dying, never tires of ruling. Make
her bridle, and load her with divers kinds of arms because all her
weapons are deadly.



No sooner is Virtue born than Envy comes into the world to attack
it; and sooner will there be a body without a shadow than Virtue
without Envy.

[Footnote: The larger of the two drawings on PI. LXI is explained by
the first 21 lines of this passage. L. 22 and 23, which are written
above the space between the two drawings, do not seem to have any
reference to either. L. 24-27 are below the allegorical twin figure
which they serve to explain.]


When Pluto's Paradise is opened, then there may be devils placed in
twelve pots like openings into hell. Here will be Death, the Furies,
ashes, many naked children weeping; living fires made of various


John the Baptist
Saint Augustin
Saint Peter
Saint Clara.
Our Lady Louis
Anthony of Padua.
Saint Francis.
Anthony, a lily and book;
Bernardino with the [monogram of] Jesus,
Louis with 3 fleur de lys on his breast and
the crown at his feet,
Bonaventura with Seraphim,
Saint Clara with the tabernacle,
Elisabeth with a Queen's crown.

[Footnote: 679. The text of the first six lines is written within a
square space of the same size as the copy here given. The names are
written in the margin following the order in which they are here
printed. In lines 7--12 the names of those saints are repeated of
whom it seemed necessary to point out the emblems.]

List of drawings.


A head, full face, of a young man
with fine flowing hair,
Many flowers drawn from nature,
A head, full face, with curly hair,
Certain figures of Saint Jerome,
[6] The measurements of a figure,
Drawings of furnaces.
A head of the Duke,
[9] many designs for knots,
4 studies for the panel of Saint Angelo
A small composition of Girolamo da Fegline,
A head of Christ done with the pen,
[13] 8 Saint Sebastians,
Several compositions of Angels,
A chalcedony,
A head in profile with fine hair,
Some pitchers seen in(?) perspective,
Some machines for ships,
Some machines for waterworks,
A head, a portrait of Atalanta raising her
The head of Geronimo da Fegline,
The head of Gian Francisco Borso,
Several throats of old women,
Several heads of old men,
Several nude figures, complete,
Several arms, eyes, feet, and positions,
A Madonna, finished,
Another, nearly in profile,
Head of Our Lady ascending into Heaven,
A head of an old man with long chin,
A head of a gypsy girl,
A head with a hat on,
A representation of the Passion, a cast,
A head of a girl with her hair gathered in a knot,
A head, with the brown hair dressed.

[Footnote: 680. This has already been published by AMORETTI _Memorie
storiche_ cap. XVI. His reading varies somewhat from that here
given, _e. g._ l. 5 and 6. _Certi Sangirolami in su d'una figura_;
and instead of I. 13. _Un San Bastiano_.]

[Footnote: 680. 9. _Molti disegni di gruppi_. VASARI in his life of
Leonardo (IV, 21, ed. MILANESI 1880) says: "_Oltreché perse tempo
fino a disegnare_ gruppi _di corde fatti con ordine, e che da un
capo seguissi tutto il resto fino all' altro, tanto che s'empiessi
un tondo; che se ne vede in istampa uno difficilissimo e molto
bello, e nel mezzo vi sono queste parole: Leonardus Vinci
Accademia_". _Gruppi_ must here be understood as a technical
expression for those twisted ornaments which are well known through
wood cuts. AMORETTI mentions six different ones in the Ambrosian
Library. I am indebted to M. DELABORDE for kindly informing me that
the original blocks of these are preserved in his department in the
Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. On the cover of these volumes is a
copy from one of them. The size of the original is 23 1/2
centimetres by 26 1/4. The centre portion of another is given on p.
361. G. Govi remarks on these ornaments (_Saggio_ p. 22): "_Codesti
gruppi eran probabilmente destinati a servir di modello a ferri da
rilegatori per adornar le cartelle degli scolari (?). Fregi
somigliantissimi a questi troviamo infatti impressi in oro sui
cartoni di vari volumi contemporanei, e li vediam pur figurare nelle
lettere iniziali di alcune edizioni del tempo._"

Dürer who copied them, omitting the inscription, added to the second
impressions his own monogram. In his diary he designates them simply
as "_Die sechs Knoten_" (see THAUSING, Life of A. Dürer I, 362,
363). In Leonardo's MSS. we find here and there little sketches or
suggestions for similar ornaments. Compare too G. MONGERI, _L'Arte
in Milano_, p. 315 where an ornament of the same character is given
from the old decorations of the vaulted ceiling of the Sacristy of
S. Maria delle Grazie.]

[Footnote: 680, 17. The meaning in which the word _coppi_, literally
pitchers, is here used I am unable to determine; but a change to
_copie_ seems to me too doubtful to be risked.]


Stubborn rigour.
Doomed rigour.

[Footnote: See PI. LXII, No. 2, the two upper pen and ink drawings.
The originals, in the Windsor collection are slightly washed with
colour. The background is blue sky; the plough and the instrument
with the compass are reddish brown, the sun is tinted yellow].


Obstacles cannot crush me
Every obstacle yields to stern resolve
He who is fixed to a star does not change
his mind.

[Footnote: This text is written to elucidate two sketches which were
obviously the first sketches for the drawings reproduced on PL LXII,
No. 2.]


Ivy is [a type] of longevity.

[Footnote: In the original there is, near this text, a sketch of a
coat wreathed above the waist with ivy.]


Truth the sun.
falsehood a mask.

Fire destroys falsehood,
that is sophistry, and
restores truth, driving out

Fire may be represented as the destroy of
all sophistry, and as the
image and demonstration of truth;
because it is light and drives
out darkness which conceals
all essences [or subtle things].

[Footnote: See PI. LXIII. L. 1-8 are in the middle of the page; 1.
9-14 to the right below; 1. 15-22 below in the middle column. The
rest of the text is below the sketches on the left. There are some
other passages on this page relating to geometry.]


Fire destroys all sophistry, that is deceit;
and maintains truth alone, that is gold.

Truth at last cannot be hidden.
Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is
to no purpose before
so great a judge.
Falsehood puts on a mask.
Nothing is hidden under the sun.

Fire is to represent truth because it
destroys all sophistry and lies; and the
mask is for lying and falsehood
which conceal truth.


Movement will cease before we are
of being useful.

Movement will fail sooner than usefulness.
Death sooner than I am never weary of
weariness. being useful,
In serving others I is a motto for carnval.
cannot do enough. Without fatigue.

No labour is
sufficient to tire me.

Hands into which
ducats and precious
stones fall like snow; they
never become tired by serving,
but this service is only for its
utility and not for our I am never weary
own benefit. of being useful.

nature has so disposed me.


This shall be placed in the
hand of Ingratitude.
Wood nourishes the fire that
consumes it.



When the sun appears
which dispels darkness in
general, you put out the
light which dispelled it
for you in particular
for your need and convenience.


On this side Adam and Eve on the other;
O misery of mankind, of how many things do
you make yourself the slave for money!

[Footnote: See PI. LXIV. The figures of Adam and Eve in the clouds
here alluded to would seem to symbolise their superiority to all
earthly needs.]


Thus are base unions sundered.

[Footnote: A much blurred sketch is on the page by this text. It
seems to represent an unravelled plait or tissue.]


Constancy does not begin, but is that
which perseveres.

[Footnote: A drawing in red chalk, also rubbed, which stands in the
original in the middle of this text, seems to me to be intended for
a sword hilt, held in a fist.]


Love, Fear, and Esteem,--
Write these on three stones. Of servants.


Prudence Strength.


Fame alone raises herself to Heaven,
because virtuous things are in favour with God.

Disgrace should be represented upside
down, because all her deeds are contrary to
God and tend to hell.


Short liberty.


Nothing is so much to be feared as Evil
This Evil Report is born of life.


Not to disobey.


A felled tree which is shooting

I am still hopeful.
A falcon,

[Footnote: I. _Albero tagliato_. This emblem was displayed during
the Carnival at Florence in 1513. See VASARI VI, 251, ed. MILANESI
1881. But the coincidence is probably accidental.]


Truth here makes Falsehood torment
lying tongues.


Such as harm is when it hurts me not,
is good which avails me not.

[Footnote: See PI. LX, No. 2. Compare this sketch with that on PI.
LXII, No. 2. Below the two lines of the text there are two more
lines: _li gùchi (giunchi) che ritégò le paglucole (pagliucole)
chelli (che li) anniegano_.]


He who offends others, does not secure himself.

[Footnote: See PI. LX, No. 3.]



[Footnote: See PI. LX, No. 4. Below the bottom sketches are the
unintelligible words "_sta stilli_." For "_Ingratitudo_" compare
also Nos. 686 and 687.]


One's thoughts turn towards Hope.

[Footnote: 702. By the side of this passage is a sketch of
a cage with a bird sitting in it.]

Ornaments and Decorations for feasts (703-705).


A bird, for a comedy.

[Footnote: The biographies say so much, and the author's notes say
so little of the invention attributed to Leonardo of making
artificial birds fly through the air, that the text here given is of
exceptional interest from being accompanied by a sketch. It is a
very slight drawing of a bird with outspread wings, which appears to
be sliding down a stretched string. Leonardo's flying machines and
his studies of the flight of birds will be referred to later.]



To make a beautiful dress cut it in thin cloth and give it an
odoriferous varnish, made of oil of turpentine and of varnish in
grain, with a pierced stencil, which must be wetted, that it may not
stick to the cloth; and this stencil may be made in a pattern of
knots which afterwards may be filled up with black and the ground
with white millet.[Footnote 7: The grains of black and white millet
would stick to the varnish and look like embroidery.]

[Footnote: Ser Giuliano, da Vinci the painter's brother, had been
commissioned, with some others, to order and to execute the garments
of the Allegorical figures for the Carnival at Florence in 1515--16;
VASARI however is incorrect in saying of the Florentine Carnival of
1513: "_equelli che feciono ed ordinarono gli abiti delle figure
furono Ser Piero da Vinci, padre di Lonardo, e Bernardino di
Giordano, bellissimi ingegni_" (See MILANESI'S ed. Voi. VI, pg.


Snow taken from the high peaks of mountains might be carried to hot
places and let to fall at festivals in open places at summer time.

*** End of Volume 1

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

Volume 2

Translated by Jean Paul Richter



The notes on Sculpture.

Compared with the mass of manuscript treating of Painting, a very
small number of passages bearing on the practice and methods of
Sculpture are to be found scattered through the note books; these
are here given at the beginning of this section (Nos. 706-709).
There is less cause for surprise at finding that the equestrian
statue of Francesco Sforza is only incidentally spoken of; for,
although Leonardo must have worked at it for a long succession of
years, it is not in the nature of the case that it could have given
rise to much writing. We may therefore regard it as particularly
fortunate that no fewer than thirteen notes in the master's
handwriting can be brought together, which seem to throw light on
the mysterious history of this famous work. Until now writers on
Leonardo were acquainted only with the passages numbered 712, 719,
720, 722 and 723.

In arranging these notes on sculpture I have given the precedence to
those which treat of the casting of the monument, not merely because
they are the fullest, but more especially with a view to
reconstructing the monument, an achievement which really almost lies
within our reach by combining and comparing the whole of the
materials now brought to light, alike in notes and in sketches.

A good deal of the first two passages, Nos. 710 and 711, which refer
to this subject seems obscure and incomprehensible; still, they
supplement each other and one contributes in no small degree to the
comprehension of the other. A very interesting and instructive
commentary on these passages may be found in the fourth chapter of
Vasari's Introduzione della Scultura under the title "Come si fanno
i modelli per fare di bronzo le figure grandi e picciole, e come le
forme per buttarle; come si armino di ferri, e come si gettino di
metallo," &c. Among the drawings of models of the moulds for casting
we find only one which seems to represent the horse in the act of
galloping--No. 713. All the other designs show the horse as pacing
quietly and as these studies of the horse are accompanied by copious
notes as to the method of casting, the question as to the position
of the horse in the model finally selected, seems to be decided by
preponderating evidence. "Il cavallo dello Sforza"--C. Boito remarks
very appositely in the Saggio on page 26, "doveva sembrare fratello
al cavallo del Colleoni. E si direbbe che questo fosse figlio del
cavallo del Gattamelata, il quale pare figlio di uno dei quattro
cavalli che stavano forse sull' Arco di Nerone in Roma" (now at
Venice). The publication of the Saggio also contains the
reproduction of a drawing in red chalk, representing a horse walking
to the left and supported by a scaffolding, given here on Pl. LXXVI,
No. 1. It must remain uncertain whether this represents the model as
it stood during the preparations for casting it, or whether--as
seems to me highly improbable--this sketch shows the model as it was
exhibited in 1493 on the Piazza del Castello in Milan under a
triumphal arch, on the occasion of the marriage of the Emperor
Maximilian to Bianca Maria Sforza. The only important point here is
to prove that strong evidence seems to show that, of the numerous
studies for the equestrian statue, only those which represent the
horse pacing agree with the schemes of the final plans.

The second group of preparatory sketches, representing the horse as
galloping, must therefore be considered separately, a distinction
which, in recapitulating the history of the origin of the monument
seems justified by the note given under No. 720.

Galeazza Maria Sforza was assassinated in 1476 before his scheme for
erecting a monument to his father Francesco Sforza could be carried
into effect. In the following year Ludovico il Moro the young
aspirant to the throne was exiled to Pisa, and only returned to
Milan in 1479 when he was Lord (Governatore) of the State of Milan,
in 1480 after the minister Cecco Simonetta had been murdered. It may
have been soon after this that Ludovico il Moro announced a
competition for an equestrian statue, and it is tolerably certain
that Antonio del Pollajuolo took part in it, from this passage in
Vasari's Life of this artist: "E si trovo, dopo la morte sua, il
disegno e modello che a Lodovico Sforza egli aveva fatto per la
statua a cavallo di Francesco Sforza, duca di Milano; il quale
disegno e nel nostro Libro, in due modi: in uno egli ha sotto
Verona; nell'altro, egli tutto armato, e sopra un basamento pieno di
battaglie, fa saltare il cavallo addosso a un armato; ma la cagione
perche non mettesse questi disegni in opera, non ho gia potuto
sapere." One of Pollajuolo's drawings, as here described, has lately
been discovered by Senatore Giovanni Morelli in the Munich
Pinacothek. Here the profile of the horseman is a portrait of
Francesco Duke of Milan, and under the horse, who is galloping to
the left, we see a warrior thrown and lying on the ground; precisely
the same idea as we find in some of Leonardo's designs for the
monument, as on Pl. LXVI, LXVII, LXVIII, LXIX and LXXII No. 1; and,
as it is impossible to explain this remarkable coincidence by
supposing that either artist borrowed it from the other, we can only
conclude that in the terms of the competition the subject proposed
was the Duke on a horse in full gallop, with a fallen foe under its

Leonardo may have been in the competition there and then, but the
means for executing the monument do not seem to have been at once
forthcoming. It was not perhaps until some years later that Leonardo
in a letter to the Duke (No. 719) reminded him of the project for
the monument. Then, after he had obeyed a summons to Milan, the plan
seems to have been so far modified, perhaps in consequence of a
remonstrance on the part of the artist, that a pacing horse was
substituted for one galloping, and it may have been at the same time
that the colossal dimensions of the statue were first decided on.
The designs given on Pl. LXX, LXXI, LXXII, 2 and 3, LXXIII and LXXIV
and on pp. 4 and 24, as well as three sketches on Pl. LXIX may be
studied with reference to the project in its new form, though it is
hardly possible to believe that in either of these we see the design
as it was actually carried out. It is probable that in Milan
Leonardo worked less on drawings, than in making small models of wax
and clay as preparatory to his larger model. Among the drawings
enumerated above, one in black chalk, Pl. LXXIII--the upper sketch
on the right hand side, reminds us strongly of the antique statue of
Marcus Aurelius. If, as it would seem, Leonardo had not until then
visited Rome, he might easily have known this statue from drawings
by his former master and friend Verrocchio, for Verrocchio had been
in Rome for a long time between 1470 and 1480. In 1473 Pope Sixtus
IV had this antique equestrian statue restored and placed on a new
pedestal in front of the church of San Giovanni in Luterano.
Leonardo, although he was painting independently as early as in 1472
is still spoken of as working in Verrocchio's studio in 1477. Two
years later the Venetian senate decided on erecting an equestrian
statue to Colleoni; and as Verrocchio, to whom the work was
entrusted, did not at once move from Florence to Venice--where he
died in 1488 before the casting was completed--but on the contrary
remained in Florence for some years, perhaps even till 1485,
Leonardo probably had the opportunity of seeing all his designs for
the equestrian statue at Venice and the red chalk drawing on Pl.
LXXIV may be a reminiscence of it.

The pen and ink drawing on Pl. LXXII, No. 3, reminds us of
Donatello's statue of Gattamelata at Padua. However it does not
appear that Leonardo was ever at Padua before 1499, but we may
conclude that he took a special interest in this early bronze statue
and the reports he could procure of it, form an incidental remark
which is to be found in C. A. 145a; 432a, and which will be given in
Vol. II under Ricordi or Memoranda. Among the studies--in the widest
sense of the word--made in preparation statue we may include the
Anatomy of the Horse which Lomazzo and Vas mention; the most
important parts of this work still exist in the Queen's Li Windsor.
It was beyond a doubt compiled by Leonardo when at Milan; only
interesting records to be found among these designs are reproduced
in Nos. 716a but it must be pointed out that out of 40 sheets of
studies of the movements of the belonging to that treatise, a horse
in full gallop occurs but once.

If we may trust the account given by Paulus Jovius--about l527--
Leonardo's horse was represented as "vehementer incitatus et
anhelatus". Jovius had probably seen the model exhibited at Milan;
but, need we, in fact, infer from this description that the horse
was galloping? Compare Vasari's description of the Gattamelata
monument at Padua: "Egli [Donatello] vi ando ben volentieri, e fece
il cavallo di bronzo, che e in sulla piazza di Sant Antonio, nel
quale si dimostra lo sbuffamento ed il fremito del cavallo, ed il
grande animo e la fierezza vivacissimamente espressa dall'arte nella
figura che lo cavalca".

These descriptions, it seems to me, would only serve to mark the
difference between the work of the middle ages and that of the

We learn from a statement of Sabba da Castiglione that, when Milan
was taken by the French in 1499, the model sustained some injury;
and this informant, who, however is not invariably trustworthy, adds
that Leonardo had devoted fully sixteen years to this work (la forma
del cavallo, intorno a cui Leonardo avea sedici anni continui
consumati). This often-quoted passage has given ground for an
assumption, which has no other evidence to support it, that Leonardo
had lived in Milan ever since 1483. But I believe it is nearer the
truth to suppose that this author's statement alludes to the fact
that about sixteen years must have past since the competition in
which Leonardo had taken part.

I must in these remarks confine myself strictly to the task in hand
and give no more of the history of the Sforza monument than is
needed to explain the texts and drawings I have been able to
reproduce. In the first place, with regard to the drawings, I may
observe that they are all, with the following two exceptions, in the
Queen's Library at Windsor Castle; the red chalk drawing on Pl.
LXXVI No. 1 is in the MS. C. A. (see No. 7l2) and the fragmentary
pen and ink drawing on page 4 is in the Ambrosian Library. The
drawings from Windsor on Pl. LXVI have undergone a trifling
reduction from the size of the originals.

There can no longer be the slightest doubt that the well-known
engraving of several horsemen (Passavant, Le Peintre-Graveur, Vol.
V, p. 181, No. 3) is only a copy after original drawings by
Leonardo, executed by some unknown engraver; we have only to compare
the engraving with the facsimiles of drawings on Pl. LXV, No. 2, Pl.
LXVII, LXVIII and LXIX which, it is quite evident, have served as
models for the engraver.

On Pl. LXV No. 1, in the larger sketch to the right hand, only the
base is distinctly visible, the figure of the horseman is effaced.
Leonardo evidently found it unsatisfactory and therefore rubbed it

The base of the monument--the pedestal for the equestrian statue--is
repeatedly sketched on a magnificent plan. In the sketch just
mentioned it has the character of a shrine or aedicula to contain a
sarcophagus. Captives in chains are here represented on the
entablature with their backs turned to that portion of the monument
which more

strictly constitutes the pedestal of the horse. The lower portion of
the aedicula is surrounded by columns. In the pen and ink drawing
Pl. LXVI--the lower drawing on the right hand side--the sarcophagus
is shown between the columns, and above the entablature is a plinth
on which the horse stands. But this arrangement perhaps seemed to
Leonardo to lack solidity, and in the little sketch on the left
hand, below, the sarcophagus is shown as lying under an arched
canopy. In this the trophies and the captive warriors are detached
from the angles. In the first of these two sketches the place for
the trophies is merely indicated by a few strokes; in the third
sketch on the left the base is altogether broader, buttresses and
pinnacles having been added so as to form three niches. The black
chalk drawing on Pl. LXVIII shows a base in which the angles are
formed by niches with pilasters. In the little sketch to the extreme
left on Pl. LXV, No. 1, the equestrian statue serves to crown a
circular temple somewhat resembling Bramante's tempietto of San
Pietro in Montario at Rome, while the sketch above to the right
displays an arrangement faintly reminding us of the tomb of the
Scaligers in Verona. The base is thus constructed of two platforms
or slabs, the upper one considerably smaller than the lower one
which is supported on flying buttresses with pinnacles.

On looking over the numerous studies in which the horse is not
galloping but merely walking forward, we find only one drawing for
the pedestal, and this, to accord with the altered character of the
statue, is quieter and simpler in style (Pl. LXXIV). It rises almost
vertically from the ground and is exactly as long as the pacing
horse. The whole base is here arranged either as an independent
baldaquin or else as a projecting canopy over a recess in which the
figure of the deceased Duke is seen lying on his sarcophagus; in the
latter case it was probably intended as a tomb inside a church.
Here, too, it was intended to fill the angles with trophies or
captive warriors. Probably only No. 724 in the text refers to the
work for the base of the monument.

If we compare the last mentioned sketch with the description of a
plan for an equestrian monument to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (No. 725)
it seems by no means impossible that this drawing is a preparatory
study for the very monument concerning which the manuscript gives us
detailed information. We have no historical record regarding this
sketch nor do the archives in the Trivulzio Palace give us any
information. The simple monument to the great general in San Nazaro
Maggiore in Milan consists merely of a sarcophagus placed in recess
high on the wall of an octagonal chapel. The figure of the warrior
is lying on the sarcophagus, on which his name is inscribed; a piece
of sculpture which is certainly not Leonardo's work. Gian Giacomo
Trivulzio died at Chartres in 1518, only five months before
Leonardo, and it seems to me highly improbable that this should have
been the date of this sketch; under these circumstances it would
have been done under the auspices of Francis I, but the Italian
general was certainly not in favour with the French monarch at the
time. Gian Giacomo Trivulzio was a sworn foe to Ludovico il Moro,
whom he strove for years to overthrow. On the 6th September 1499 he
marched victorious into Milan at the head of a French army. In a
short time, however, he was forced to quit Milan again when Ludovico
il Moro bore down upon the city with a force of Swiss troops. On the
15th of April following, after defeating Lodovico at Novara,
Trivulzio once more entered Milan as a Conqueror, but his hopes of
becoming _Governatore_ of the place were soon wrecked by intrigue.
This victory and triumph, historians tell us, were signalised by
acts of vengeance against the dethroned Sforza, and it might have
been particularly flattering to him that the casting and
construction of the Sforza monument were suspended for the time.

It must have been at this moment--as it seems to me--that he
commissioned the artist to prepare designs for his own monument,
which he probably intended should find a place in the Cathedral or
in some other church. He, the husband of Margherita di Nicolino
Colleoni, would have thought that he had a claim to the same
distinction and public homage as his less illustrious connection had
received at the hands of the Venetian republic. It was at this very
time that Trivulzio had a medal struck with a bust portrait of
himself and the following remarkable inscription on the reverse:_
(Sfortiam) DVC-- (ducem) MLI (Mediolani)--NOIE
(nomine)--REGIS--FRANCORVM--EODEM--ANN --(anno) RED'T (redit)--LVS
(Ludovicus)--SVPERATVS ET CAPTVS--EST--AB--EO. _In the Library of
the Palazzo Trivulzio there is a MS. of Callimachus Siculus written
at the end of the XVth or beginning of the XVIth century. At the
beginning of this MS. there is an exquisite illuminated miniature of
an equestrian statue with the name of the general on the base; it is
however very doubtful whether this has any connection with
Leonardo's design.

Nos. 731-740, which treat of casting bronze, have probably a very
indirect bearing on the arrangements made for casting the equestrian
statue of Francesco Sforza. Some portions evidently relate to the
casting of cannon. Still, in our researches about Leonardo's work on
the monument, we may refer to them as giving us some clue to the
process of bronze casting at that period.

Some practical hints (706-709).



If you wish to make a figure in marble, first make one of clay, and
when you have finished it, let it dry and place it in a case which
should be large enough, after the figure is taken out of it, to
receive also the marble, from which you intend to reveal the figure
in imitation of the one in clay. After you have put the clay figure
into this said case, have little rods which will exactly slip in to
the holes in it, and thrust them so far in at each hole that each
white rod may touch the figure in different parts of it. And colour
the portion of the rod that remains outside black, and mark each rod
and each hole with a countersign so that each may fit into its
place. Then take the clay figure out of this case and put in your
piece of marble, taking off so much of the marble that all your rods
may be hidden in the holes as far as their marks; and to be the
better able to do this, make the case so that it can be lifted up;
but the bottom of it will always remain under the marble and in this
way it can be lifted with tools with great ease.


Some have erred in teaching sculptors to measure the limbs of their
figures with threads as if they thought that these limbs were
equally round in every part where these threads were wound about



Divide the head into 12 degrees, and each degree divide into 12
points, and each point into 12 minutes, and the minutes into minims
and the minims into semi minims.



Sculptured figures which appear in motion, will, in their standing
position, actually look as if they were falling forward.

[Footnote: _figure di rilievo_. Leonardo applies this term
exclusively to wholly detached figures, especially to those standing
free. This note apparently refers to some particular case, though we
have no knowledge of what that may have been. If we suppose it to
refer to the first model of the equestrian statue of Francesco
Sforza (see the introduction to the notes on Sculpture) this
observation may be regarded as one of his arguments for abandoning
the first scheme of the Sforza Monument, in which the horse was to
be galloping (see page 2). It is also in favour of this theory that
the note is written in a manuscript volume already completed in
1492. Leonardo's opinions as to the shortcomings of plastic works
when compared with paintings are given under No. 655 and 656.]

Notes on the casting of the Sforza monument (710-715).


Three braces which bind the mould.

[If you want to make simple casts quickly, make them in a box of
river sand wetted with vinegar.]

[When you shall have made the mould upon the horse you must make the
thickness of the metal in clay.]

Observe in alloying how many hours are wanted for each
hundredweight. [In casting each one keep the furnace and its fire
well stopped up.] [Let the inside of all the moulds be wetted with
linseed oil or oil of turpentine, and then take a handful of
powdered borax and Greek pitch with aqua vitae, and pitch the mould
over outside so that being under ground the damp may not [damage

[To manage the large mould make a model of the small mould, make a
small room in proportion.]

[Make the vents in the mould while it is on the horse.]

Hold the hoofs in the tongs, and cast them with fish glue. Weigh the
parts of the mould and the quantity of metal it will take to fill
them, and give so much to the furnace that it may afford to each
part its amount of metal; and this you may know by weighing the clay
of each part of the mould to which the quantity in the furnace must
correspond. And this is done in order that the furnace for the legs
when filled may not have to furnish metal from the legs to help out
the head, which would be impossible. [Cast at the same casting as
the horse the little door]

[Footnote: The importance of the notes included under this number is
not diminished by the fact that they have been lightly crossed out
with red chalk. Possibly they were the first scheme for some fuller
observations which no longer exist; or perhaps they were crossed out
when Leonardo found himself obliged to give up the idea of casting
the equestrian statue. In the original the first two sketches are
above l. 1, and the third below l. 9.]



Make the horse on legs of iron, strong and well set on a good
foundation; then grease it and cover it with a coating, leaving each
coat to dry thoroughly layer by layer; and this will thicken it by
the breadth of three fingers. Now fix and bind it with iron as may
be necessary. Moreover take off the mould and then make the
thickness. Then fill the mould by degrees and make it good
throughout; encircle and bind it with its irons and bake it inside
where it has to touch the bronze.


Draw upon the horse, when finished, all the pieces of the mould with
which you wish to cover the horse, and in laying on the clay cut it
in every piece, so that when the mould is finished you can take it
off, and then recompose it in its former position with its joins, by
the countersigns.

The square blocks _a b_ will be between the cover and the core, that
is in the hollow where the melted bronze is to be; and these square
blocks of bronze will support the intervals between the mould and
the cover at an equal distance, and for this reason these squares
are of great importance.

The clay should be mixed with sand.

Take wax, to return [what is not used] and to pay for what is used.

Dry it in layers.

Make the outside mould of plaster, to save time in drying and the
expense in wood; and with this plaster enclose the irons [props]
both outside and inside to a thickness of two fingers; make terra
cotta. And this mould can be made in one day; half a boat load of
plaster will serve you.


Dam it up again with glue and clay, or white of egg, and bricks and

[Footnote: See Pl. LXXV. The figure "40," close to the sketch in the
middle of the page between lines 16 and 17 has been added by a
collector's hand.

In the original, below line 21, a square piece of the page has been
cut out about 9 centimetres by 7 and a blank piece has been gummed
into the place.

Lines 22-24 are written on the margin. l. 27 and 28 are close to the
second marginal sketch. l. 42 is a note written above the third
marginal sketch and on the back of this sheet is the text given as
No. 642. Compare also No. 802.]


All the heads of the large nails.

[Footnote: See Pl. LXXVI, No. i. This drawing has already been
published in the "_Saggio delle Opere di L. da Vinci_." Milano 1872,
Pl. XXIV, No. i. But, for various reasons I cannot regard the
editor's suggestions as satisfactory. He says: "_Veggonsi le
armature di legname colle quali forse venne sostenuto il modello,
quando per le nozze di Bianca Maria Sforza con Massimiliano
imperatore, esso fu collocato sotto un arco trionfale davanti al


These bindings go inside.


Salt may be made from human excrements, burnt and calcined, made
into lees and dried slowly at a fire, and all the excrements produce
salt in a similar way and these salts when distilled, are very

[Footnote: VASARI repeatedly states, in the fourth chapter of his
_Introduzione della Scultura_, that in preparing to cast bronze
statues horse-dung was frequently used by sculptors. If,
notwithstanding this, it remains doubtful whether I am justified in
having introduced here this text of but little interest, no such
doubt can be attached to the sketch which accompanies it.]



This may be done when the furnace is made [Footnote: this note is
written below the sketches.] strong and bruised.

Models for the horse of the Sforza monument (716-718).


Messer Galeazzo's big genet


Messer Galeazzo's Sicilian horse.

[Footnote: These notes are by the side of a drawing of a horse with
figured measurements.]


Measurement of the Sicilian horse the leg from behind, seen in
front, lifted and extended.

[Footnote: There is no sketch belonging to this passage. Galeazze
here probably means Galeazze di San Severino, the famous captain who
married Bianca the daughter of Ludovico il Moro.]

Occasional references to the Sforza monument (719-724).


Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the
immortal glory and eternal honour of the happy memory of the prince
your father, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

[Footnote: The letter from which this passage is here extracted will
be found complete in section XXI. (see the explanation of it, on
page 2).]


On the 23rd of April 1490 I began this book, and recommenced the


There is to be seen, in the mountains of Parma and Piacenza, a
multitude of shells and corals full of holes, still sticking to the
rocks, and when I was at work on the great horse for Milan, a large
sackful of them, which were found thereabout, was brought to me into
my workshop, by certain peasants.


Believe me, Leonardo the Florentine, who has to do the equestrian
bronze statue of the Duke Francesco that he does not need to care
about it, because he has work for all his life time, and, being so
great a work, I doubt whether he can ever finish it. [Footnote: This
passage is quoted from a letter to a committee at Piacenza for whom
Leonardo seems to have undertaken to execute some work. The letter
is given entire in section XXL; in it Leonardo remonstrates as to
some unreasonable demands.]


Of the horse I will say nothing because I know the times. [Footnote:
This passage occurs in a rough copy of a letter to Ludovico il Moro,
without date (see below among the letters).]


During ten years the works on the marbles have been going on I will
not wait for my payment beyond the time, when my works are finished.
[Footnote: This possibly refers to the works for the pedestal of the
equestrian statue concerning which we have no farther information in
the MSS. See p. 6.]

The project of the Trivulzio monument.



[2] Cost of the making and materials for the horse [5].

[Footnote: In the original, lines 2-5, 12-14, 33-35, are written on
the margin. This passage has been recently published by G. Govi in
Vol. V, Ser. 3a, of _Transunti, Reale Accademia dei Linea, sed. del
5 Giugno, 1881,_ with the following introductory note: _"Desidero
intanto che siano stampati questi pochi frammenti perche so che sono
stati trascritti ultimamente, e verranno messi in luce tra poco
fuori d'Italia. Li ripubblichi pure chi vuole, ma si sappia almeno
che anche tra noi si conoscevano, e s'eran raccolti da anni per
comporne, quando che fosse, una edizione ordinata degli scritti di

The learned editor has left out line 22 and has written 3 _pie_ for
8 _piedi_ in line 25. There are other deviations of less importance
from the original.]

A courser, as large as life, with the rider requires for the cost of
the metal, duc. 500.

And for cost of the iron work which is inside the model, and
charcoal, and wood, and the pit to cast it in, and for binding the
mould, and including the furnace where it is to be cast ... duc.

To make the model in clay and then in wax......... duc. 432.

To the labourers for polishing it when it is cast. ....... duc. 450.

in all. . duc. 1582.

[12] Cost of the marble of the monument [14].

Cost of the marble according to the drawing. The piece of marble
under the horse which is 4 braccia long, 2 braccia and 2 inches wide
and 9 inches thick 58 hundredweight, at 4 Lire and 10 Soldi per
hundredweight.. duc. 58.

And for 13 braccia and 6 inches of cornice, 7 in. wide and 4 in.
thick, 24 hundredweight....... duc. 24.

And for the frieze and architrave, which is 4 br. and 6 in. long, 2
br. wide and 6 in. thick, 29 hundredweight., duc. 20.

And for the capitals made of metal, which are 8, 5 inches in. square
and 2 in. thick, at the price of 15 ducats each, will come to......
duc. 122.

And for 8 columns of 2 br. 7 in., 4 1/2 in. thick, 20 hundredweight
duc. 20.

And for 8 bases which are 5 1/2 in. square and 2 in. high 5 hund'..
duc. 5.

And for the slab of the tombstone 4 br. io in. long, 2 br. 4 1/2 in.
wide 36 hundredweight....... duc. 36.

And for 8 pedestal feet each 8 br. long and 6 1/2 in. wide and 6 1/2
in. thick, 20 hundredweight come to... duc. 20.

And for the cornice below which is 4 br. and 10 in. long, and 2 br.
and 5 in. wide, and 4 in. thick, 32 hund'.. duc. 32.

And for the stone of which the figure of the deceased is to be made
which is 3 br. and 8 in. long, and 1 br. and 6 in. wide, and 9 in.
thick, 30 hund'.. duc. 30.

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest