The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Begun in Florence and written from about his thirty-seventh year until his death, a period of about thirty years, the notebooks of
High Renaissance master Leonardo da
Vinci consist of about five thousand pages written on loose leaves. Leonardo's notebooks contain no punctuation, and they
document his observations about art and science.
Notebook Page of
Leonardo da Vinci
Pen & ink on loose leaf linen paper,
1489 - 1519
hereto see our fine art reproductions.
The original pages of da Vinci's notebooks are now bound and scattered throughout England, Italy and France, separated into
separate volumes. Giorgio Vasari tells us that
each numbered page of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks contains a complete thought. That appears to be his only rule. A famous page that
is familiar to us all from his notebooks is Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of The Vitruvian
Topics in the Italian Renaissance notebooks of Leonardo da
Vinci are varied, but they include ideas on fine art painting, perspective, eyesight, light and shade, perspective of disappearance, theory of
colors, aerial perspective, proportion and movement of the human figure, botany for painters, elements of landscape painting, art instruction,
disposition for the artistic career, artist’s materials, and the history of the art of painting,
Project Guttenberg has a complete e-text translation of Leonardo’s manuscripts translated by that can be accessed
through their web site.
Brenda Harness, Art Historian