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“ The immense outlines of
one can for ever only sense from the distance ”
( Jakob Burckhardt )
Leonardo da Vinci. Il Codice Atlantico. Edizione in Facsimile. Ed. under the patronage of the president of the republic. 12 volumes in the original size of 60.2 x 44.5 cm. With innumerable illustrations true to the original in regard of color, size and fit on
in the original colors. 4,320 pages. – AUGUSTO MARIONI (ED.). Il Codice Atlantico. Transcrizione diplomatica e critica. 12 vols. in 4to (29.7 x 22 cm, 2 sides uncut). 1973-80. Dark brown orig. leather vols.
One of 998 copies. – The most monumental Leonardo with its plenty of most important studies gathered nowhere else on
machines – technical instruments – mechanic devices
Illustrates so unbelievable inventions as
self-driving vehicles – ships sailing below water –
In a prophetic sense showing ways “which were recovered 300 years after his death only and lead to the highest ends” (Rosenberg). The whole quintessence of that what already the young Leonardo hinted to Ludovico Sforza duke of Milan when he offered his services to him as war engineer and artist.
“ For on such oral conversations
(Rosenberg by rendering those 10 promises for war and peace services flabbergasting still today).
But also just artistically the Codex Atlanticus is the revelation :
First sketches to the portrait of Beatrice d’Este ,
And finally the invaluable proofs of an outright breathtaking architectural talent :
The sketches and designs for churches , domes and palaces
which belonged to the plan of a whole new city ,
with boldest solutions
and most ideal conditions for man
who in the culture of the Renaissance was the center of the universe .
Never realized as so many other. “If only the artist had taken the leisure to complete creations which still in their fragments will produce an after-effect through many centuries” (Rosenberg).
The Codex Atlanticus is
the résumé of the work by a man
“ whom to create is no longer in the power of nature ”
as Francesco Melzi wrote as 27-year-old to Florence
Passed over to Melzi Leonardo’s manuscripts – ca. 15 volumes – remained together till the death of the friend (1570). His son Horatio, however, finally sold 10 to Pompeo Leoni (d. 1610), 1st sculptor at the court of Philip II. This arranged the material in chronological order under addition of further drawings, but also copies and even fakes. With the result of at first two gigantic volumes which short time later figured as Codex Arundel and Codex Atlanticus. The latter comprises about ten original codices.
This all reflected by this facsimilation. Up to the bindings which were worked from one single (sic!) skin irrespective of their extraordinarily large size.
All corresponds in absolute truth to the original .
And all revealed by the 12-volume transcription and commentation in Italian. In the same dark brown leather. An absolute edition .
Leonardo – Pedretti, Carlo (Ed.). The Codex Atlanticus. A Catalogue of Its Newly Restored Sheets. 2 vols. 1978. In-4. 256; 320 pp. With text ills. and 13 plates. Orig. cloth.
With a detailed introduction on history, composition and restoration of the Codex and a concise assessment of the vastness, complexity and variety of its contents encompassing the full range of Leonardo’s active life from about 1478 to his death in 1519. Thus spanning more than 40 unrepeatable years of a forever singular genius.
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