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Codex Atlanticus: A Treasure of Leonardo da Vinci's Works
The Codex Atlanticus is a collection of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci, spanning from 1478 to 1519. It covers a wide range of topics, such as mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, botany, anatomy, architecture, and art. The codex contains some of Leonardo's most famous inventions, such as the flying machine, the tank, the parachute, and the submarine.
The codex is named after its large size, which resembles an atlas. It consists of 1,119 sheets of paper, which were originally bound in 12 volumes. However, in the late 16th century, the codex was disassembled and rearranged by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni, who wanted to create a more impressive display of Leonardo's genius. Leoni's order was not based on chronological or thematic criteria, but rather on aesthetic and visual appeal. As a result, the codex lost its original coherence and structure.
The codex is currently preserved at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy. It is one of the largest and most important collections of Leonardo's works in the world. However, due to its fragility and conservation issues, only a limited number of pages are displayed to the public at a time. The codex has also been digitized and made available online for researchers and enthusiasts.
If you are interested in exploring the Codex Atlanticus, you can download a PDF version of it from the Internet Archive[^1^]. You can also find a transcription and translation of one of its pages, folio 899v, which shows Leonardo's designs for a reciprocal roof system, on ResearchGate[^2^]. Alternatively, you can browse through some other ancient books and codices from different cultures and civilizations on the same website[^3^].Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in a small village near the town of Vinci, in the Tuscan region of Italy. He was the illegitimate son of a notary and a peasant woman, and he received little formal education. However, he showed a great curiosity and talent for various subjects, such as drawing, painting, music, mathematics, and nature. He also had a remarkable memory and a keen observation skills.
At the age of 15, Leonardo moved to Florence and became an apprentice in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, a renowned painter and sculptor. There he learned the basics of painting, sculpture, metalwork, and engineering. He also collaborated with Verrocchio on some projects, such as the Baptism of Christ, in which Leonardo painted the angel on the left. Leonardo soon surpassed his master in skill and creativity, and by the age of 20 he was qualified as a master himself.
Leonardo spent most of his life working for various patrons, such as the Medici family in Florence, Ludovico Sforza in Milan, Cesare Borgia in Romagna, and Francis I in France. He also traveled extensively throughout Italy and France, seeking new challenges and opportunities. He worked on a variety of commissions, ranging from paintings and sculptures to architectural designs and military engineering. He also pursued his own personal interests and studies, such as anatomy, botany, optics, mechanics, and flight.
Leonardo da Vinci is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists and geniuses of all time. His paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are among the most famous and influential works of art in history. His drawings, such as the Vitruvian Man and the Codex Atlanticus, reveal his extraordinary scientific and artistic vision. His inventions, such as the helicopter and the tank, anticipate modern technology by centuries. His legacy is immense and enduring, inspiring generations of artists, scientists, and thinkers. aa16f39245