Leonardo Da Vinci, Artist, Thinker and Man of Science, Vol. 1 of 2

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Fb&c Limited, 2015年6月15日 - 378 頁
Excerpt from Leonardo Da Vinci, Artist, Thinker and Man of Science, Vol. 1 of 2

There is no name more illustrious in the annals of art and of science than that of Leonardo da Vinci. And yet this pre-eminent genius still lacks a biography which shall make him known in all his infinite variety.

The great majority of his drawings have never been reproduced. No critic has even attempted to catalogue and classify these masterpieces of taste and sentiment. It was to this part of my task that I first applied myself. And, among other results, I now offer the public the first descriptive and critical catalogue of the incomparable collection of drawings at Windsor Castle, belonging to her Majesty the Queen of England.

Among the many previous volumes dedicated to Leonardo, students will seek in vain for details as to the genesis of his pictures, and the process through which each of them passed from primordial sketch to final touch. Leonardo, as is conclusively shown by my researches, achieved perfection only by dint of infinite labour. It was because the groundwork was laid with such minute care, with such a consuming desire for perfection, that the Virgin of the Rocks, the Mona Lisa, and the S. Anne are so full of life and eloquence.

Above all, a summary and analysis was required of the scientific, literary, and artistic manuscripts, the complete publication of which was first begun in our own generation by students such as Messrs. Richter, Charles Ravaisson-Mollien, Beltrami, Ludwig, Sabachnikoff and Rouveyre, and the members of the Roman Academy of the "Lincei."

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