Leonardo da Vinci’s Notes

Hi everyone! I hope you guys are having a great start to your week. Today I wanted to talk about Leonardo da Vinci. Within the past few years, the British Library has scanned da Vinci’s notebooks, and they have made them available to the public online.

Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance artist who is profoundly known for his intellect, invention, and art. He was, what the Renaissance people would proudly call him, a humanist; therefore, he was someone who studied many different disciplines. To this day, he is considered one of the best master artists in the world. His Mona Lisa alone is insured for $100 million, which is the highest for any painting (guinessworldrecords.com). Therefore, as we know, Leonardo was and still is one of the greatest artist today.

I was very excited to hear that the British Library site includes 570 images of scanned text from da Vinci’s notebook. It comes from “The Codex Arundel,” which simply refers to a variety of his writings. These writings range from 1478 to 1518.

A fun fact about da Vinci is that he wrote in a unique way. He was left handed and he wrote in the mirror style.

Here is an example of his writing:

Da Vinci, Mirror writing

Image from openculture.com

If you were to place this in front of a mirror, you would be able to read it perfectly from left to right.

If you think about it, this type of writing is extremely difficult to do. So what could have been the reasons for da Vinci’s desire to write this way? I like the reasons the Museum of Science provides on their site. They claim that da Vinci may have written this way because he didn’t want anyone to steal his ideas, he didn’t want the Catholic Church to discover his scientific findings, and/or he didn’t smudge when he wrote this way (since he was left-handed). Either way, I think da Vinci writing this way shows us how he challenged himself as a scholar.

For anyone who is interested in checking out the text, click HERE for the link to da Vinci’s scanned text!


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