Secrets of the “Leicester Codex”


Everything connected with the name of the great Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, has always given rise to great interest. For example, one of his notebooks with records of the so – called Leicester Codex in 1994 sold at Christie’s auction for 30.8 million dollars. The notebook of Leonardo was purchased by the founder of Microsoft bill gates.

Paintings and drawings by Leonardo are considered to be not only masterpieces of art but also a great investment. Even a piece of paper with the handwritten records Renaissance genius, you can sell and buy at a fantastic price.

What to say about the artist’s notebooks in which he recorded his thoughts on various occasions, reflections accompanying drawings and mathematical calculations! So in the ranking of auction prices, the Leonardo is in the first place.

Leonardo da Vinci was not only a talented artist. His mind was keenly interested in all branches of human knowledge. In those days the only science which has attracted artists, was anatomy. It’s obvious why: she helped the artists to properly portray the human body. But most artists were limited to a small excursion into the “subcutaneous” human structure. More they still relied on their own vision and wrote their characters with clients or sitters.

Leonardo is so carefully and painstakingly examined the interaction of bones and muscles, which left us with pictures that can be called anatomical atlases. He researched even that hardly helped him in painting – the stage of development of the fetus inside the uterus. For this, he opened not one pregnant woman (of course dead).

Muscle and bones it is considered more likely as an engineer, and even conducted measurements and mathematical calculations. In short, for great Florentine people were the same mechanism as the drawbridge or ballista. Looking at how an athlete lifts weights, he was not thinking about the beauty of the movement itself, but about how well the system of levers within the human body, and develop artificial mechanisms that can replicate the work of nature.

Animals, birds, insects, running water in rivers and streams, moving clouds in the sky was to him not only aesthetic pleasure, but desire to penetrate beyond the visible, to understand how it all works. For the time in which he lived, Leonardo, this mood of mind was considered seditious.

No wonder his thoughts the artist had to hide, even the normal anatomy of the dead was regarded as sedition, for which you can go on a fire. Leonardo my thoughts recorded, but tried to make them inaccessible to the casual person, inadvertently looked into his notebook.

He used the method of “mirror writing” and brought it to full automatic. Ignorant of his record seemed illegible. However, almost always they were supplemented by drawings, and the attentive reader could easily figure out what secrets are hidden in the text, but the mysteries themselves without decryption to know would have failed.

For several years, from 1506 to 1510, Leonardo was preoccupied with the study of the nature of water, air, minerals and celestial bodies. Reflections on this subject and built the so-called Leicester Codex of the plurality of encrypted records and drawings of 18 large sheets, written on both sides and folded so that the formed notebook 72 pages.

Their records genius called: “a Treatise on water, earth and celestial Affairs.” Well-versed in encryption, people could read in this treatise of Leonardo’s thoughts about the world and get answers to questions about why moving water in rivers, what is the meaning of the strange fossils found in limestone deposits at their banks, and how these fossils formed, why the Moon does not Shine as brightly as the Sun and if the Moon itself does not emit light, where does it glow what is the role of air in the human world and how the human body conforms to the ideal proportions inherent in nature.

Of course, explanations Leonardo meet the scientific criteria of the time: the air, the artist calls the soul of the world, the earth – body in the world, and water -his blood. The world, nature, in his opinion, is a huge living organism where everything is interconnected and appropriate.

Nature body should be nourished with life-giving juices, which yields water, and air allows the body to breathe and to live. And work nature as the work of other mechanisms can be improved. Therefore, in the pages of his notebooks Leonardo developed useful to the world order improvement – construction of artificial channels, building of bridges, dams and locks, the use of engineering structures.

Reasoning of a scientist, despite the medieval terminology, based on the many experiments which he conducted with water and air, and these experiments also details they described.

Leonardo’s observations led him to the conclusion that the mountain ranges had been the beds of seas, as evidenced by the fossilized remains of sea creatures, and then the earth rose, brought these fossils to great heights. The force of the water flow and water pressure it is linked with the height of the cliff from which the water descends, and took notes on how to build bridges, given the movement of water and traces of erosion on the coastal rocks.

However, thinking about the nature of moonlight, Leonardo did quite understandable for his time error: if the Land cut by rivers and covered with seas and oceans, he thought, the Moon should have a similar structure. The moon is also covered with water, so that’s why she glows – because the solar light is reflected not from dry land and from the water. However, for the water waves move, why the Moon shines, and a much weaker Sun.

He also noticed that the dark part of the disc has a faint glow, and a century before Kepler, he decided that this phenomenon is due to the fact that the dark part of the disc receives the reflected light, but not from the Sun but from the Earth.

Leonardo died in 1519. “Treatise on water, earth and celestial matters” was inherited by Francesco Melzi, then he went to the pupil of Michelangelo, Giovanni della Porta, and it fell to the Roman artist Giuseppe Getstsi. In 1717, the manuscript was bought by Thomas cook, the Earl of Leicester, and from that time almost to the present day notebook Leonardo was owned by the heirs of count. It is thanks to the eminent owners of the treatise and became known as the Leicester Codex.

However, in 1980 the treatise was auctioned and sold to the famous millionaire and art connoisseur Armand hammer for $ 5.1 million. For 400 years the manuscript was severely damaged. Hammer immediately hired a specialist in restoration of ancient manuscripts, Carlo Pedretti, to drive the code in the original form. In addition, hammer wanted to have a complete translation of the treatise into English.

This complicated the work of Dr. Pedretti has dedicated the next seven years and by 1987, the Leonardo work was recovered and translated. Three years later the new owner of the manuscript died, and Leicester again soon code came up for auction. There he was sold to bill gates.

Gates immediately scanned the manuscript and translated it into electronic form. Since then, both the text and the drawings from the notebooks of Leonardo became available to any Internet user. Drawings made by the great artist, with a light hand of bill gates turned into screen savers and Wallpaper for desktop.

Moreover, installation discs Windows came out with a set of images of a scanned code. And to promote the creation of Leonardo’s bill gates held extensive showings Leicester Codex in major museums.

Demonstration code only happens once a year in one of the cities around the world. The first exhibition was held in 2000 in Sydney, Australia. The code has been in France (Chambord castle), Japan (Tokyo), Ireland (Dublin), and every year shows in the exhibitions dedicated to the genius of Leonardo, in the United States.

However, bill gates prefers to not show the precious manuscript and an electronic copy – it’s safer for manuscript that’s harmful daylight, crowds of tourists and attacks of robbers who want to get the most expensive book in the world.

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