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VII. On the Proportions and on the Movements of the Human Figure Index
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p. 167


On the Proportions and on the Movements of the Human Figure.

Leonardo's researches on the proportions and movements of the human figure must have been for the most part completed and written before the year 1498; for LUCA PACIOLO writes, in the dedication to Ludovico il Moro, of his book Divina Proportione, which was published in that year: "Leonardo da venci ... hauedo gia co tutta diligetia al degno libro de pictura e movimenti humani posto fine".

The selection of Leonardo's axioms contained in the Vatican copy attributes these words to the author: "e il resto si dira nella universale misura del huomo". (MANZI, p. 147; LUDWIG, No. 264). LOMAZZO, again, in his Idea del Tempio della Pittura Milano 1590, cap. IV, says: "Lionardo Vinci ... dimostro anco in figura tutte le proporzioni dei membri del corpo umano".

The Vatican copy includes but very few sections of the "Universale misura del huomo" and until now nothing has been made known of the original MSS. on the subject which have supplied the very extensive materials for this portion of the work. The collection at Windsor, belonging to her Majesty the Queen, includes by far the most important part of Leonardo's investigations on this subject, constituting about half of the whole of the materials here published; and the large number of original drawings adds greatly to the interest which the subject itself must command. Luca Paciolo would seem to have had these MSS. (which I have distinguished by the initials W. P.) in his mind when he wrote the passage quoted above. Still, certain notes of a later date--such as Nos. 360,

p. 168

[paragraph continues] 362 and 363, from MS. E, written in 1513--14, sufficiently prove that Leonardo did not consider his earlier studies on the Proportions and Movements of the Human Figure final and complete, as we might suppose from Luca Paciolo's statement. Or else he took the subject up again at a subsequent period, since his former researches had been carried on at Milan between 1490 and 1500. Indeed it is highly probable that the anatomical studies which he was pursuing zvith so much zeal between 1510--16 should have led him to reconsider the subject of Proportion.

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