The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Volume 2.

Thus, in twelve entire figures, you will have set before you the cosmography of this lesser world on the same plan as, before me, was adopted by Ptolemy in his cosmography; and so I will afterwards divide them into limbs as he divided the whole world into provinces; then I will speak of the function of each part in every direction, putting before your eyes a description of the whole form and substance of man, as regards his movements from place to place, by means of his different parts.  And thus, if it please our great Author, I may demonstrate the nature of men, and their customs in the way I describe his figure.

And remember that the anatomy of the nerves will not give the position of their ramifications, nor show you which muscles they branch into, by means of bodies dissected in running water or in lime water; though indeed their origin and starting point may be seen without such water as well as with it.  But their ramifications, when under running water, cling and unite—­just like flat or hemp carded for spinning—­all into a skein, in a way which makes it impossible to trace in which muscles or by what ramification the nerves are distributed among those muscles.

799.

THE ARRANGEMENT OF ANATOMY

First draw the bones, let us say, of the arm, and put in the motor muscle from the shoulder to the elbow with all its lines.  Then proceed in the same way from the elbow to the wrist.  Then from the wrist to the hand and from the hand to the fingers.

And in the arm you will put the motors of the fingers which open, and these you will show separately in their demonstration.  In the second demonstration you will clothe these muscles with the secondary motors of the fingers and so proceed by degrees to avoid confusion.  But first lay on the bones those muscles which lie close to the said bones, without confusion of other muscles; and with these you may put the nerves and veins which supply their nourishment, after having first drawn the tree of veins and nerves over the simple bones.

800.

Begin the anatomy at the head and finish at the sole of the foot.

801.

3 men complete, 3 with bones and nerves, 3 with the bones only.  Here we have 12 demonstrations of entire figures.

802.

When you have finished building up the man, you will make the statue with all its superficial measurements.

[Footnote:  Cresciere l’omo.  The meaning of this expression appears to be different here and in the passage C.A. 157a, 468a (see No. 526, Note 1. 2).  Here it can hardly mean anything else than modelling, since the sculptor forms the figure by degrees, by adding wet clay and the figure consequently increases or grows. Tu farai la statua would then mean, you must work out the figure in marble.  If this interpretation is the correct one, this passage would have no right to find a place in the series on anatomical studies.  I may say that it was originally inserted in this connection under the impression that di cresciere should be read descrivere.]

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The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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