The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
The practice of the prospettiva de colori.In order to put into practice this perspective of the variation and loss or diminution of the essential character of colours, observe at every hundred braccia some objects standing in the landscape, such as trees, houses, men and particular places. Then in front of the first tree have a very steady plate of glass and keep your eye very steady, and then, on this plate of glass, draw a tree, tracing it over the form of that tree. Then move it on one
side so far as that the real tree is close by the side of the tree you have drawn; then colour your drawing in such a way as that in colour and form the two may be alike, and that both, if you close one eye, seem to be painted on the glass and at the same distance. Then, by the same method, represent a second tree, and a third, with a distance of a hundred braccia between each. And these will serve as a standard and guide whenever you work on your own pictures, wherever they may apply, and will enable you to give due distance in those works.  But I have found that as a rule the second is 4/5 of the first when it is 20 braccia beyond it.
159:127 : This chapter is one of those copied in the Manuscript of the Vatican library Urbinas 1270, and the original text is rendered here with no other alterations, but in the orthography. H. LUDWIG, in his edition of this copy translates lines 14 and 15 thus: "Ich finde aber als Regel, dass der zweite um vier Funftel des ersten abnimmt, wenn er namlich zwanzig Ellen vom ersten entfernt ist (?)". He adds in his commentary: "Das Ende der Nummer ist wohl jedenfalls verstummelt". However the translation given above shows that it admits of a different rendering.