His Master's Voice?

For centuries, the Treatise on Painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) has been regarded as the greatest book on technique in the history of western art. It was compiled posthumously by Leonardo’s faithful pupil Francesco Melzi from the master's notes and drawings.

Melzi's 1540 compilation was not published until 1651, and then only in an abbreviated version with illustrations by Nicholas Poussin. The full Melzi compilation was published for the first time by Guglielmo Manzi in Rome in 1817. In the 200 years since, Leonardo scholars have compared the text with what remains of Leonardo's own notes and contended that it does not reflect Leonardo's views accurately.

The manuscript at the center of this controversy about authenticity is in the Vatican Library. Urb.lat.1270 has just been digitized in color after only being online in black and white.

Read it to see how Melzi put the book together. One of the mysteries is how this text even survived. There is no documentation of the Melzi manuscript's whereabouts until 1626. Francesca Fiorani has compiled a whole website about the treatise and its turbulent and troubled history.

Last week 29 manuscripts were brought online by the library in Rome. My list:
  1. Urb.lat.778,
  2. Urb.lat.801,
  3. Urb.lat.985,
  4. Urb.lat.1098.pt.1,
  5. Urb.lat.1209,
  6. Urb.lat.1212,
  7. Urb.lat.1215.pt.2,
  8. Urb.lat.1270 (Upgraded to HQ), Melzi's original 1540 compilation of Leonardo's da Vinci's treatise on painting (above)
  9. Urb.lat.1450,
  10. Urb.lat.1523,
  11. Urb.lat.1556,
  12. Urb.lat.1594.pt.2,
  13. Urb.lat.1650 (Upgraded to HQ): records of the conclave which elected Pope Innocent X
  14. Urb.lat.1659,
  15. Urb.lat.1665,
  16. Urb.lat.1666,
  17. Vat.lat.2497,
  18. Vat.lat.3975,
  19. Vat.lat.4646,
  20. Vat.lat.4654.pt.1,
  21. Vat.lat.4677,
  22. Vat.lat.4679,
  23. Vat.lat.4681 (Upgraded to HQ), a Renaissance manuscript of Caesar's Gallic War, with this curious initial where the rump of Caesar's horse is adorned with a very Germanic double-headed eagle: 
  24. Vat.lat.4682,
  25. Vat.lat.4684,
  26. Vat.lat.4693,
  27. Vat.lat.4695,
  28. Vat.lat.4696,
  29. Vat.turc.30,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 201. Thanks to @gundormr for harvesting. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

No comments :

Post a Comment