Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks Available Online

Article by

Many people know Leonardo da Vinci best for his famous paintings—the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Salvator Mundi. But this Italian polymath of the Renaissance had a mind-boggling array of other interests—engineering, mathematics, science, invention, geology, botany, and cartography, just to name a few.

The true extent of da Vinci’s Renaissance mind is captured in the surviving notebooks that he used to sketch out his inventions, record his thoughts on various scientific principles, and even write down his shopping lists.

A few years ago, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London made two of these notebooks available online for the public to view. Known as the Codex Forster I—named after the man who donated the book to the museum in 1876—this volume contains the earliest and the most recent da Vinci notebooks in the museum’s collection.

The notebooks feature some of da Vinci’s inventions, including hydraulic devices for adjusting water levels and digging canals, as well as his ideas for how to measure solids. The text is written in da Vinci’s signature “mirror writing,” from right to left—which means it can only be read by holding it up to a mirror.

Da Vinci’s notebooks are a treasure trove of ideas worth sharing with the world. But as The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones points out, da Vinci never published his work, even though the European printing press was invented in the 15th century and da Vinci owned many printed books himself.

So what you get when you look at the notebooks is not a heavily edited book meant for public consumption, but a glimpse at working manuscripts created by a Universal mind. Which is why alongside da Vinci’s engineering and mathematics notes, you’ll also find his shopping lists—he had a preference for pink tights—and personal reminders.

After da Vinci’s death in 1519, the notebooks were passed onto his pupil Francesco Melzi. Many of these made their way into the collections of museums and private collections. Some notebooks were lost. But the ones that have been saved through the years offer a rare glimpse at an even rarer mind.

By digitizing da Vinci’s notebooks, the Victoria and Albert Museum has made them available to a wider audience, allowing people to flip through and zoom in on the pages, almost as if they were holding the real thing. But this digital perusal has the added advantage of protecting the original notebooks from manual handling, so that they may continue to inspire generations for another 500 years.

The museum plans on making two other da Vinci notebook volumes from its collection available online sometime in 2019.

_____

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Total
0
Shares

Quantum physics reveals the unity of the universe

Article by

Quantum physics revives the ancient idea of universal oneness that Christianity unjustly excluded from our culture

#77 Regenerative Medicine

Podcast with

Exploring the frontiers of alternative medicine and healing modalities with renowned Cerebral Spiral Fluid expert.

Pixels, Patterns & Perspectives

Video with

Physicist and Author Sky Nelson-Isaacs urges us to see the world differently and consider how pixels and patterns converge to evoke a new perspective.

Time to Support Indigenous Science

Article by

Faced with the profound challenges of a rapidly changing environment, society needs other ways of knowing to illuminate a different way forward

Resonantly Perfect Solar System Found

Article by

Researchers have located "the perfect solar system", forged without the violent collisions that made our own a hotchpotch of different-sized planets

Buddhism and Quantum Mechanics

Article by

Excerpt of an article by 'Art of Life' star

Universal pattern of brain wave frequencies unraveled

Article by

Across mammalian species, brain waves are slower in deep cortical layers

Tesla’s “Free Energy” & Vedic Philosophy

Article by

The Properties of Space Science works best when in harmony with nature

Support SAND with a Donation

Science and Nonduality is a nonprofit organization. Your donation goes towards the development of our vision and the growth of our community.
Thank you for your support!