Author: Leonardo Da Vinci
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4999] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [Most recently updated: June 29, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg
EBOOK, the notebooks of Leonardo
Vinci, volume 2 ***
This eBook was produced by Charles Aldarondo and the
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