Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
MS Magl. XVII.18 (ex Gaddi 372), Datable to the late 16th century
377 numbered chapters without headings, 49 illustrations
Florentine provenance, from the library of the Florentine collector Niccolo' Gaddi (1537-1591)
This manuscript is one of the earliest abridged copies of Francesco Melzi's Libro di pittura and it may have been copied from it independently from other early manuscript, such as F6 and M1.
This manuscript comes from library of the Florentine collector Niccolo Gaddi. The Gaddi library was open to scholars and artists and manuscripts were often copied for personal use. In line with this practice FM2 was copied numerous times and some of these manuscripts survive in Florentine libraries (see especially F2, F3, F5, F4, FA, and FL2). It is interesting to note that Florentine artists may have had easy access to the Gaddi library as their copies derived, directly or indirectly from FM2 (see the manuscripts owned by Stefano della Bella [F4], Antonio d'Orazio [FL2], and the copy now in the Accademia del disegno [FA]). From FM2, or a copy of it, derives also the basic copy used by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1657) in Rome at the beginning of his editorial work on Leonardo's Treatise on Painting (see P1). The textual and visual comparison of FM2 with Melzi's Libro di pittura (VU) shows that some chapters and images of FM2 are closer to the chapters and images of VU than any other early copy, including F6 and M1 (see T1045 or I010). But it also shows that some chapters and images of FM2 depart from VU more significantly than in other early copies, including F6 and M1. This fact suggests that FM2 did not derive from another early copy (such as F6 or M1) but rather it was copied from Melzi's Libro di pittura (VU) independently. In FM2 the abridged Libro di pittura is bound together with another text, titled "Regola seconda della prosepttiva del Vignola", the second rule of perspective by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola (1507-1573). Vignola's text comes before Leonardo's Treatise on Painting but the two texts were written continuously on identical folios by the same copyst, suggesting that they were assembled as a coherent unity. Vignola's text is also present in F2, a manuscript very close to FM2, although in F2 Vignola's text follows Leonardo's text.
Fol. [III] + fols. 1-9 +  + fols. 11-91 + [III], 34.4 x 24.3 cm , in folio, fol. III "La prima opera in questo codice la Regola seconda della Prospetiva del Vignola, e di poi ne segue il Trattato della Pittura di Leonardo da Vinci"; fols. 1-9 Excerpts from Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, "Seconda Regola seconda della Prospettiva"; fols. 9-84 Leonardo's Treatise on painting; fols. 85-91 "Parte seconda", list of chapter headings.
7 chain lines, two watermarks. 1) fol. I Zonghi 728 documented in 1599; Briquet 209 documented in Verona in 1582-1596. 2) fol. [II]+1-91+[III] Zonghi 1718- 1719 documented in Fano in 1577.
Steinitz, Treatise on Painting, 1958, p. 57 (B, 10); Uzielli, Ricerche intorno a Leonardo da Vinci, 1901, p. 336; Pedretti, Commentary to the Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci by Jean Paul Richter, 1977, p. 17-18; Sconza, La réception du Libro di pittura de Léonard de Vinci: de la mort de l’auteur à la publication du Trattato della pittura (Paris 1651). Ph.D. Diss. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle Paris III and Università degli Studi di Macerata, 2007; Fiorani, “The Shadows of Leonardo's Annunciation and Their Lost Legacy,” in Imitation, Representation and Printing in the Italian Renaissance, Roy Eriksen and Magne Malmanger (eds), 2009), pp. 146-156; Barone, “Cassiano dal Pozzo's manuscript copy of the Trattato: new evidence of editorial procedures and responses to Leonardo in the seventeenth century” Raccolta Vinciana, 35 (2011), p. 246.
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