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SKETCH FROM THE TRATTATO PELLA PITTURA."

(Vatican Library.)

types. The old man with a bull-dog's face, the old woman with a bird's head, are in his view reflections from an inferior species; he goes so far as to seek in the human countenance for analogies with web-footed animals and even crustaceans. A step farther, and we should have been tempted to talk of evolution, and to compare him with Darwin.1 Modern writers have judged this part of Leonardo's work with great severity. "We can hardly say that he has even skimmed the surface of the subject," says one.2 Another formally condemns one of the laws laid down in the Trattato. "The following passage," he declares, "shows how empty and false were the ideas of Leonardo on the difference which exists between the laughing and the weeping countenance: he who sheds tears unites the eyebrows at their junction, knits them closely, forms wrinkles above them, and drops the corners of the mouth; on the other hand, he who laughs lifts them [the corners of the mouth] and expands them, while he raises the eyebrows and draws them apart." 3

We see, then, that the Trattato della Pittura forms a perpetual commentary on the artistic activity of Leonardo. It is a collection of subtle ideas and practical counsels, of scientific observations in which the spirit of analysis is pushed to its extreme limits, and of those concrete guesses or intuitions which reveal the artist of genius. In spite of the occasional minuteness of its instructions, it is better fitted to stimulate the mind than to act as a practical guide and formulary. In its great suggest!veness it is addressed rather to those artists who love to think for themselves, than to those who are content to accept ready

I In 1586, the Neapolitan G. B. Porta published his De Humana Physiognomonia Libri iv., in which he establishes relations between the features of certain men and animals. He quotes Aristotle, Pliny, e tutti quanti.

2 A. Lemoine, De la Physionomie et de la Parole, Paris, 1865, p. 29.

3 Piderit, La Mimique et la Physionomie, pp. 26, 99, 152. [French tr.]

[graphic]

SKETCH FROM THE

"TRATTATO DELLA

PITTURA."

(Vatican Library.)

made formulae. It must be confessed that no school has felt its inspiration less than that formed by Leonardo himself, whose immediate pupils—Boltraffio, Marco d'Oggiono, Salai, Melzi—never allowed any hard thinking to disturb their equanimity.

We must not forget, however, that in Leonardo's atelier, theoretical teaching was always supplemented by practical and direct oral instruction. The master took pupils, or rather apprentices, to live in his house. His "terms" were 5 lire a month, a very modest sum when we remember all the discomforts and responsibilities which then attended the taking of apprentices.1 Hear what Leonardo says himself of the troubles this system brought upon him; it confirms what we already know of his placidity. "Giacomo came to live with me on the feast of S. Mary Magdalen, 1490. He was ten years old. The second day, I ordered two shirts, a pair of hose, and a doublet for him. When I put aside the money to pay for these things, he took it out of my purse; I was never able to make him confess the robbery, although I was certain of it. A thieving, lying, pig-headed glutton. Next day I supped with Giacomo Andrea and the said Giacomo; he ate for two and did mischief for four, for he broke three flasks and upset the wine, and then came and supped where I was. Item: on the 7th of September he stole a stylus worth 22 soldi from Marco's studio, while he (Marco) was with me; afterwards, the said Marco, after a long search, found it hidden in the said Giacomo's box. Lira 1, soldi 2. Item: on the 26th of January following, while I was with Messer Galeazzo da San Severino arranging his joust, and while certain footmen were undressing in order to try on some costumes of savages, in which they had to appear, Giacomo crept near the wallet of one of them, which was lying on the bed with other effects, and stole a few coppers which he found in it. Lire 2, soldi 4. Item: Messer Agostino da Pavia having given me, in the said house, a Turkish skin to make a pair of shoes, this Giacomo stole it before the month was out, and sold it to a cobbler for 20 soldi,

1 "On March 14, 1494, Galeazzo came to live with me, agreeing to pay 5 lire a month for his cost, paying on the 14th day of each month. His father gave me two Rhenish florins.'' (Richtcr, vol. ii., p. 440.)

Studies in Proportion.

(WINUS.OR LtBKAHY.)

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