- Possible range of dates based on textual reference to date of 1741 and handwriting style.Manuscript copy of notes in English on proportion and the art of drawing the human body, excerpted from English translations of Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy's De arte graphica (The art of painting) and Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo's Trattato dell'arte della pittura (Treatise on the art of painting), and from William Cowper's The anatomy of humane bodies. Long before they were actually published, Leonardo's notebooks were freely loaned by his heir Francesco Melzi, and studied by numerous artists who used them to complete their own works. Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo's Trattato dell'arte de la pittura, which was published in 1584, contains many passages borrowed from Leonardo whose own treatise, Trattato della pittura, was not published until 1651, 67 years later. Dufresnoy came in contact with Leonardo's ideas by reading Lomazzo, and published many of them in his treatise, De arte graphica, which first appeared in 1668; see K.T. Steinitz, Leonardo da Vinci's Trattato della pittura. Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1958, pages 10-12, 16-17. The present Belt manuscript, possibly compiled in England, also contains references to William Cowper's anatomical treatise on the human body on leaves r and , illustrated with a detailed and finely executed drawing of a human skeleton; leaf v contains notes on Cowper's proportions of the fetus, infant, child, and young adult. Other drawings illustrate the proper proportions of the human head, face, and hand. As a point of reference, the measurements are given on leaf v of a plaster model of a statue of Venus de' Medici, which was commissioned "by a grand duke's order in 1741 and lent to Lord Hobart in Brickling." The final page of notes refers to Leonardo da Vinci's studies on the proportions of a horse, accompanied by a full-page illustration of a horse with body parts and measurements labeled.
- [between 1742 and 1799?]
- Resource Type:
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
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