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Notebooks (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Leonardo da Vinci , Irma A. Richter , Martin Kemp , Thereza Wells
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 April 2008 Oxford World's Classics
'Study me reader, if you find delight in me...Come, O men, to see the miracles that such studies will disclose in nature.'

Most of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci, we know because of his notebooks. Some 6,000 sheets of notes and drawings survive, which represent perhaps one-fifth of what he actually produced. In them he recorded everything that interested him in the world around him, and his study of how things work. With an artist's eye and a scientist's curiosity he studied the movement of water and the formation of rocks, the nature of flight and optics, anatomy, architecture, sculpture, and painting. He jotted down fables and letters and developed his belief in the sublime unity of nature and man. Through his notebooks we can get an insight into Leonardo's thoughts, and his approach to work and life.

This selection offers a cross-section of his writings, organized around coherent themes. Fully updated, this new edition includes some 70 line drawings and a Preface by Martin Kemp, one of the world's leading authorities on Leonardo.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed edition (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199299021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199299027
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A remarkable insight into the Renaissance mind. (The Guardian.)

About the Author

Irma A. Richter was an artist, translator, and Leonardo scholar. Thereza Wells is Head of Scientific Analysis at Universal Leonardo. Martin Kemp is University Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford (Trinity College) and the author of The Oxford History of Western Art and Leonardo.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Leonardo's view of what science should be foreshadows the critical and constructive methods of modern times. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo...the writer. 26 May 2012
By Dante the Igniscient VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
During the course of his life Leonardo da Vinci used his writings to greater explain his theories on art, science and man's relationship with nature. Although widely regarded as the archetypal Renaissance man Leonardo was not fluent in latin which may have been a problem for other people seeking to widen their knowledge in the fields of art and science in later-medieval Italy. But Leonardo created his own theories based on his own experiences, in many cases defying the theories of other thinkers and wholeheartedly believing it was experience that brought wisdom and revealed true knowledge to mankind. It is assumed that most of his writings have been lost but what remains gives modern readers a greater understanding of his theories on such subjects as the universe and its elements, mechanics and the quest for flight, the nature of art and the expression of the spirit.

"He (the painter) should act as a mirror which transmutes itself into as many colours as are those of the object that are placed
before it. Thus he will seem to be a second nature."

"To the ambitious, whom neither the boon of life, nor the beauty of the world suffice to content, it comes as penance that life
with them is squandered, and that they possess neither the benefits nor the beauty of the world."

This particular text also includes a number of his fables, prophecies and reflections on life. The final section covers his journey through life beginning with the Florentine period and ending with the French period. Many sketches are included but these are of the most basic type although there is a b/w photograph of the Vitruvian Man. Unlike the Oxford Shakespeare this book does not use sewn binding and the paper quality is not as good. But as an extremely affordable introduction to the writings of one of the most extraordinary minds in history this book is highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 31 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book - within the first few pages I was astonished and what I learned and am looking forward to reading the rest - purchase made for personal interest and not study and am very happy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Piece or Art 29 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
excellent insight of the depth of contents, with a clear narrative style, certainly an inspiring book for those readers who love Leonardo's visions.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This edition had no illustrations in it ...not what I expected. Only diagrams rather than reproductions. Not like the edition I saw in Queens Gallery Edinburgh gift shop
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not very impressed 7 Nov 2013
Not as many inages as you would expect from front cover, but it is a useful information resource for art scholars
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