Leonardo Da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man

By Martin Kemp | Go to book overview

Preface to the 1981 Edition

This is intended to be a book about Leonardo's intellectual and artistic life as a whole. I have endeavoured to capture the unity of his creative intellect, not I hope at the expense of his variousness, but in such a way as to illustrate the main trunk from which the ramifications of his work grew. I have attempted to come to terms with the principles, style, and development of his thought, rather than enumerating his artistic and scientific achievements. I have been concerned to characterize the shape of his vision of the world, to assess the relationship between this vision and his works of art, and to show how each major facet of his activity relates to the whole and how his outlook developed during the full span of his career.

This approach inevitably places an emphasis upon those aspects of his work that possess the clearest philosophical implications, and militates against an extended consideration of his technical work in all its inventive variety. I have, in other words, been concerned with the principles of his mechanics rather than with a list of the machines he invented. I have been concerned with the reasons why his anatomies took the form they did, rather than running him beside Vesalius and Harvey in a historical race towards 'observational accuracy'. I have been concerned to understand his theory of vision and its implications rather than trying to mould him into an ancestor of Kepler. I have been concerned to illustrate the personal flavour that he brought to a broadly Aristotelian range of physical sciences rather than to draw up an historical balance sheet of scientific credits and debits. And ultimately, I have been concerned to show how his art profoundly reciprocates his scientific vision but is not identical to it.

Just as it would be idiotic to claim that this or any other volume was the comprehensive Leonardo book, so it would be misleading to think that the internal balance of this necessarily selective study reflects the actual balance of the various activities in his own career. There are a number of reasons why such a balance remains elusive. The most unavoidable is that the surviving historical record is incomplete in a lopsided manner, as we will have repeated cause to see. It appears likely that about four-fifths of his written output is lost. Furthermore, any selection of material from his legacy is inevitably conditioned by the author's personal attitude to what he considers important, interesting, and relevant to his theme. Finally, it is doubtful if anyone could achieve the required level of understanding across the whole range of Leonardo's work to treat every

-xvii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Leonardo Da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 398

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.