Leonardo kept a series of journals in which he wrote almost daily, as well as separate notes and sheets of observations, comments and plans. He wrote and drew with his left hand. Most of his writing is in mirror script, which makes it difficult to read. Much has survived to illustrate Leonardo’s studies, discoveries and inventions.
On his death, his writings were left mainly to his pupil Melzi with the apparent intention that his scientific work should be published. This did not take place in Melzi’s lifetime, and the writings were eventually bound in different forms and dispersed. Some of his works were published as a Treatise on Painting 165 years after his death.
Leonardo illustrated a book on mathematical proportion in art written by his close friend Luca Pacioli and called De divina proportione, published in 1509. He was also preparing a major treatise on his scientific observations and mechanical inventions. It was to be divided into a number of sections or “Books”, Leonardo leaving some instructions as...
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