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Notebooks

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  29,085 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Most of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci, we know because of his notebooks. Some 6,000 sheets of notes and drawings survive, perhaps one-fifth of what he actually produced. With an artist's eye and a scientist's curiosity, he recorded in these pages his observations on the movement of water and the formation of rocks, the nature of flight and optics, anatomy, architect ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 392 pages
Published May 11th 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1519)
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Alex
Da Vinci was very specific.

On depicting a battle:
"The air must be full of arrows in every direction." (There follows several pages more of instructions, including bits like, "There must not be a level spot that is not trampled with gore.") (p. 26-28)

And his bits on anatomy are famous enough without me. The distance between the corner of your eye and your ear is the same as the height of your ear. Now you know.

But then, on the less specific side, there's this: "Of grotesque faces I need say nothi
...more
Roy Lotz
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mind of a painter must resemble a mirror, which always takes the color of the object it reflects and is completely occupied by the images of as many objects are in front of it.

I picked up this book on a whim, and read it for the same reason. My edition is an attractively bound selection of Leonardo’s most interesting notes and drawings, arranged to give the reader an appreciation of the breadth of this quintessential Renaissance man’s interests, and the great scope of his imagination.

I mu
...more
Lynde
Yes, I just added a "homeschool" shelf. Why? Because I am supplementing a bit. Even private schools don't cut the mustard at this point. I have highly creative children--one of which is a constant stream of inventions. He spews out ideas with dry erase markers to windows, takes garbage from the recycling bin as if it is a golden treasure. He even CRIES because he thinks I am wasting a precious gem by recycling a cardboard box or an egg crate. Because "mom--can't you SEE that THIS is CLEARLY an A ...more
Laila
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Görsel zenginliği çok derin olan keyifli bir kitap. Leonardo Da Vinci'nin el yazısına bakabilmek beni her zaman mutlu etmiştir. Çizimle, resimle ilgileniyorsanız çok eğitici bilgiler bulabilirsiniz. Özellikle son kısımdaki aforizmaları okurken çok eğlendim.


Tavsiye ederim!
Murugan
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Let no man who is not a Mathematician read the elements of my work" - a live testimony that analytical and creative abilities are not as simply polarised as the left-right brain theory.
Rob Lewis
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Whenever I see the grammar police rear their ugly head, I'll remember LDV wrote backwards in an indecipherable scrawl and with an akward form of shorthand.
Mohammed Al-Garawi
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
No you don't get it. Those are the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci. The ones he carried around all the time. They contain his thoughts on painting, sculpturing, anatomy, architecture, philosophy, and many more intriguing subjects. They also showcase some of his scribbles and initial designs for inventions and paintings of people and scenery.

Reading the notebooks gives you the privilege of diving into the mind of the Grand Designer. I never thought I'd be lucky to experience this.

Absolutely a favo
...more
Lily Calder
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Holy gods. Read this. READ IT. Da Vinci was a bloody genius.

Given that Leonardo never had much of a formal education, and that his intelligence was borne out of observation and imagination, what this book contains is truly astonishing. It blurs what modernity would consider the lines between the arts and the sciences, but I don't think that matters. What really matters is the hard evidence that a self-taught scientist figured out things that were taught to me in my science lessons at school. I'l
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci / a new selection by: Pamela Taylor. New York: New American Library, 1960=1339
کتاب در 253 صفحه، 16 صفحه تصویر، تصاویر بدون صفحه شمار بین صفحات 128 تا 129 آمده، کتابنامه از صفحه 239 تا 240، موضوع: سرگذشتنامه لئوناردو داوینچی (1452 تا 1519 میلادی)، به زبان انگلیسی

...more
Barb
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists
Such a look at the way da Vinci thought. Usually, we see his visual works. This book translates and organizes his written journals to provide us a look at his thoughts on art and the world around him. Very enjoyable to browse, though not necessarily a work to be read straight through.
CJ Bowen
"Force arises from dearth or abundance; it is the child of physical motion, and the grandchild of spiritual motion, and the mother and origin of gravity." 186

"Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past. Prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly." 252

"Wisdom is the daughter of experience." 288

"Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, so study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing tha
...more
Devlin Scott
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Most of the original text and sketches have of course been lost either by time or by Leonardo's own design (he deliberately corrupted his own texts to keep his competitors from stealing his works). It is a true shame that this knowledge is lost.

Any free kindle edition is easily worth 4 stars. It is a rare treat to see Leonardo's mind at work. He was one of the most gifted intellects ever created and just watching how he 'pieced' the workings of life and the known universe together is worth the t
...more
Heather
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the defining periods of my life was when I read Leonardo's notebooks. His awareness, curiosity, and maddening drive towards perfection of his understanding of reality is beautiful.

You really get a grasp of his personality from the notebooks. He suffered greatly from the thought that he'd die before I got it all figured out.
Fed
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leonardo's work is outstanding, this book is good, but the presentation could have been a bit more powerful
Ecem Dilan
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
touching the big papers is really exciting. He has a big brain so he has lots o thing about everything . amazing.
Brion O'quigley
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short punchy excerpts that provide insight into a genius making his way in the world over 500 years ago.
Sundeep Supertramp
Review:

I never knew who da Vinci was. It was only after watching the movie, The Da Vinci Code, I came to understand that Leonardo da Vinci was a person who creates puzzles for his time pass. He also drew few paintings like Mona Lisa and The Last Supper (during that time, I didn't even know what was the significance of the painting).

Slowly, there after I came to learn Leonardo was no puzzler (person who creates puzzles), but an artist. It is only after I read this book, I came to understand the r
...more
Matthew Kowalski
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
On occasion I do as I am doing now which was choosing a book or a source close to the one I have read. So that I might have some reference to the work that has interested me. I read this work in two forms a little red book at my community college the other being on the project gutenberg website. I think it's one of the best website ever created it serves the commons and I hope the commons serves it. Right now their is a war over the domain of information and this is a concern, because their are ...more
Harry Allagree
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Editor H. Anna Suh has provided a wonderful glimpse of a genius & one of history's greatest artists, Leonardo da Vinci, through the medium of reproductions from his notebooks. Despite some drawbacks, I felt as though I were sitting with a venerable old expert who was personally sharing in snippets the fruit of a long life of observation & practical experience. For one who had no formal schooling -- "book learning" -- as so many of his colleagues had, the warmth & accuracy of his geni ...more
Amalie
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, art-artist
If you ever wondered what the GREAT Leonardo thought, then this is the book to get. In here are the words written by Leonardo of his philisophical ideas, lives of where he lived and his surroundings, his theories on color, perspective, proportion, architecture, foliage, physiology and so many other things that the Great One was curious about.

One weakness though, the pictures were randomly arranged, sometimes I wondered why some were even there because it has no connection to the article on the p
...more
Akshay Bade
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wondered what the GREAT Leonardo thought, then this is the book to get. In here are the words written by Leonardo of his philosophical ideas, lives of where he lived and his surroundings, his theories on color, perspective, proportion, architecture, foliage, physiology and so many other things that the Great One was curious about.
Any free kindle edition is easily worth 4 stars. It is a rare treat to see Leonardo's mind at work. He was one of the most gifted intellects ever created a
...more
Cynthia
I will add more on this later if I have time. Found the most complete collection published in the 1970s in a used bookstore in 2 volumes. This current edition might be unabridged - I did not check. The sections on art and painting are exquisite and the moral tales, as well. I did not read it cover to cover but scanned and read what seemed to be of interest to me. I use it as reference and source material.
Dave Brace
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine read for those interested in the great de Vinci. His penmanship is second to none and the drawings are true works of art.
The range of subjects covered by this book are fascinating from a historical and cultural point of view.
This makes an excellent coffee table book and I would quite happily hang many of the drawings on my walls.
Remo
Resumen de todos los libros y anotaciones del polifacético genio renacentista, que trata un montón de temas: pintura, escultura, arquitectura, urbanismo, fábulas, máximas, física, anatomía... Sorprende (leer) la claridad de ideas que tenía este señor allá por el s. XV. Es increíble. Muchos de los temas están recortados en exceso, pero es el precio que hay que pagar por una edición barata.
Mloy
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was an awesome collection of notes. Makes one appreciate Da Vinci's genius more. He had a lot of interesting insights not only on art but also in war and politics, human and animal behaviour as well as some fascinating and humorous anecdotes. His mind was simply amazing, his grasp on almost everything makes it seem he can almost predict the future. Totally worth reading.
Jen
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Five stars for the illustrations and the genius of the author. I didn't understand all of the text -- a lot of it is technical instructions for painting, sculpture, and various inventions, but I understood enough to appreciate the the mind of Leonardo da Vinci was extraordinary.
Greg Deane
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one-volume selection from Leonardo's notebooks encompasses every aspect of his interests in painting, architecture, engineering, optics, anatomy and much more. It includes fables and epigrams and an outline of his life told through his writings.
The new Introduction, and Preface by Leonardo expert Martin Kemp, explore the artist's genius and the contents and legacy of his manuscripts.
The selection is helpfully organized into seven themed sections, and editorial comentary puts the material in
...more
Emily
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is truly fascinating to get an insight into da Vinci's mind. He combined art, science, mathematics, and philosophy together beautifully.
Joshua Thibodeau
it is a really good book i like it
Alexandra Freire
Un libro que tarde un año y un par de meses en terminar. El motivo por el que quise leerlo fue para poder tratar a través de estas páginas adentrarme en la mente de Leonardo Da Vinci, quien de orígenes humildes en la época medieval logró tener un amplio conocimiento de tantos campos de la vida...
El libro está dividido en 4 secciones:
- Arte: 2 estrellas porque en verdad no me llamó casi nada la atención y fue la parte más larga -_-. Tal vez alguien que hubiese estudiado arte, pinturas o algo rela
...more
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It was on April 15, 1452, that Leonardo was born in the town of Vinci, Republic of Florence, in what is now in Italy, the illegitimate son of a notary and a barmaid. It is from his birthplace that he is known as Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo seemed to master every subject to which he turned his attention: he was a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer, wrote poetry and stories: the p ...more
More about Leonardo da Vinci...
“All sciences are vain and full of errors that are not born of Experience, the mother of all Knowledge.” 125 likes
“I awoke only to find that the rest of the world was still asleep.” 90 likes
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