Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana
MS D 467 inf, Datable after 1585-1586
365 numbered chapters with headings, 55 illustrations
No Table of Contents
Leonardo da Vinci parte seconda del discorso sopra il disegno
Milanese provenance documented by watermark, from the library of Gian Vincenzo Pinelli (1535-1601)
This Milanese manuscript is one of the oldest surviving copies of Leonardo’s Treatise on painting and it is closely related to F6, one of the early Florentine copies from which it may have been copied.
The textual and visual comparison of M1 with Francesco Melzi’s original compilation (VU) shows the close proximity of the two manuscripts. Originally, the chapters of M1 were identified only by headings, but chapter numbers were added later, possibly after the first printed edition of 1651. In the process of inserting chapter numbers, some alterations were introduced to the original division of the chapters. For instance, chapters that were identified by different headings in VU were grouped under a single chapter number in M1 (see CID333 of M1, which was numbered 332 together with the following 6 text units). Often these numbers correspond to the chapter numbers of the printed edition of 1651. The relation between M1 and early Florentine copies has been highly debated. The textual and visual comparison of M1 with F6, FM2 and F2 shows that M1 derived from F6. Particularly instructive are the comparison of images that were conceived as single images in F6 but were divided into two separate images in M1 (see I010 which was divided into I432 and I424 in M1, and I410 which was divided into I047 and I591 in M1). These separations were kept in later manuscripts derived from M1. M1 has been regarded as the direct source of M3, the master copy used by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1657) in Rome in the 17th century to prepare the first printed edition of Leonardo’s Treatise on Painting. The manuscript has no Table of Contents and for a long time it was believed that its original table of contents was contained in a manuscript now in Montpellier (MM), but this view has been revised recently (Barone 2011).
In 1609, M1 was acquired by cardinal Federico Borromeo, who bought Vincenzo Pinelli's entire library. As part of Federico Borromeo's library, it entered the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, where it is still kept. Recently, it has also been suggested that the owner of M1 was the Milanese Galeazzo Arconati (1592-1648), who later gave it to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Sparti 2003).
[IV] + fols. 1-73 + , 34 x 24 cm , in folio
Horse looking backwards inscribed in a circle, similar to watermark in manuscripts owned by the Milanese Gian Vincenzo Pinelli
Steinitz, Treatise on Painting, 1958, p. 53 (B, 6); Richter, The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, 1939, p. 7 note; Carusi, Per il Trattato della pittura di Leonardo da Vinci, 1919, p. 422; 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; Sparti, “Cassiano dal Pozzo, Poussin, and the Making and Publication of Leonardo’s Trattato,” Journal of the Courtauld and the Warburg Institutes 66 (2003): pp. 143-188; 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), pp. 223-286; Farago, "Introduction," Re-Reading Leonardo, 2009, 1-36.
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