Leonardo Da Vinci: An Account of His Development as an Artist

Leonardo Da Vinci: An Account of His Development as an Artist

Leonardo Da Vinci: An Account of His Development as an Artist

Leonardo Da Vinci: An Account of His Development as an Artist

Excerpt

This book is the result of a number of lectures on Leonardo given during the last six years. Originally there were three given in Oxford and at the Courtauld Institute; then four given at the Royal Institution in the winter of 1935. Then came the six lectures at Yale University in the autumn of 1936, which are the reason for the present publication, and these six have been expanded to nine. I know that work done in this way must have serious defects, but I have kept to the lecture form because it alone justifies my scale and style. Moreover, I am only able to write during short holidays, so cannot give the continuous attention necessary to turn lectures into a full-scale book. The groundwork of these lectures was done, however, when I had more leisure, and was compiling the catalogue of Leonardo's drawings at Windsor Castle.

The book is intended for the general reader. Quotations from Leonardo's writings are therefore given in English, except when the original has a vividness which I cannot translate. I have put in as few footnotes as possible, and where facts can be found in obvious sources, Vasari Life for example, I have not given references; but I have tried to give chapter and verse for any matter which may be new to the average student of Leonardo. The illustrations have been chosen in order to please rather than to instruct, and anyone who wishes to follow the arguments in the text should use the volume on Leonardo in the Klassiker der Kunst series which, however misleading in arrangement, contains three hundred and forty plates.

I am glad of this opportunity of thanking my hosts at Yale University, in particular Dean Meeks of the School of Fine Art. I am also most . . .

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