A heavy dose of footnotes would be inimical to the kind of text I have wished to write. However, it is obviously essential that the sources of my extensive quotations from Leonardo's manuscripts should be properly acknowledged, and I have used a series of abbreviations for this purpose. These abbreviations correspond to those used in much of the Leonardo literature, with the exception that 'Br.M.' for British Museum has been updated to 'B.L.' for British Library. Any reader wishing to trace the sources for the other evidence I have adduced and to pursue further reading on particular topics should be able to do so quite readily by means of the classified and annotated Bibliography at the end of the text.
The names and reference letters given here as elsewhere to Leonardo's surviving manuscripts are the result of historical accidents. For the history of the manuscripts, see the Bibliography.
|A. Ash.I (Ashburnham)||Paris, Institut de France also known as B.N.2037, formerly part of MS.B., Paris, Institut de France||in and around 1492 1480s–1490|
|Ash.II (Ashburnham)||also known as B.N.2038, formerly part of MS.A, Paris, Institut de France||in and around 1492|
|B.||Paris, Institut de France||1480s–1490|
|B.L. (British Library)||also known as Arundel MS. and Br.M., London, British Library||compiled from material from various periods|
|C.||Paris, Institut de France||1490–1|
|C.A. (Codice atlantico)||Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana||compiled from material from various periods|
|D.||Paris, Institut de France||probably 1508|
|E.||Paris, Institut de France||1513–14|
|F.||Paris, Institut de France||1508|
|Forster I, II, and III (including I1, I2, II1, and II2)||formerly known as S.K.M.I, II and III, London, Victoria and Albert Museum||I – late 1480s; and 1505. II – mid 1490s; and later. III – c.1493–4|
|G.||Paris, Institut de France||1510–15|