Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
MS Urb. Lat. 1270, datable ca 1540
944 un-numbered chapters with headings, 221 illustrations
Table of Contents
Libro di pittura
Milanese provenance, from the library of Francesco Melzi (1491-1570)
This manuscript was compiled from Leonardo's original manuscripts by his pupil Francesco Melzi around 1540. Melzi intended to publish it, but this compilation was never printed. In the second half of the 16th century, it became unavailable. Before its disappearance, it was drastically abridged in a text that came to be knows as Leonardo's Treatise on painting.
It is the source of the abridged Treatise on Painting, although its early history remains mysterious. After Francesco Melzi compiled it around 1540, the manuscript leaves no record for over 80 years. In 1626 it is documented in the Della Rovere library at Casteldurante as part of the property acquired by the Papal states at the death of the last duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria Della Rovere. In 1631 it is transferred from Casteldurante to Urbino and in 1657 it enters the Biblioteca Alessandrina in Rome. Later it is transferred to the Vatican Library. The manuscript remained unknown in the Vatican Library until the late eighteenth century when ??discovered it. It was published for the first time in Rome in 1817.
After Francesco Melzi compiled it in Milan around 1540, the manuscript was undocumented for over 80 years. In 1626 it is listed among the holdings of the Della Rovere library at Casteldurante as part of the property acquired by the Papal states at the death of the last duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria Della Rovere. In 1631 it is transferred from Casteldurante to Urbino and in 1657 it entered the Biblioteca Alessandrina in Rome. Later it is transferred to the Vatican Library. The manuscript remained unknown until it was rediscovered in the Vatican library in the late eighteenth century. It was published for the first time by Guglielmo Manzi in Rome in 1817.
Fols. 335 (with misnumbering), cm 20.4 x 15 , small folio; fols. 1-28v: "Libro di pittura di M. Lionardo da Vinci pittore et scultore fiorentino, Parte Prima"; fols. 31-78v: "Parte Secunda"; fols. 103-164r: "Parte Terza"; fols. 167-171r: "Parte Quarta De Panni et modo di vestir le figure con gratia et de gli abiti et nature de panni"; fols. 175-241v: "Parte Quinta De Ombra et Lume"; fols. 243-268: "Parte Sesta De li alberi et verdure"; fols. 275-282v: "Parte Septima Delli nuvoli"; fols. 283-286r: "Parte Ottava Del orizonte"; fols. 301r-329: Tables of Content divided into eight books: fols. 301r-302r: "Tavola dela Prima Parte del Libro, et prima di poesia et pittura"; fols. 303r-308r: "Tavola dela Seconda Parte del Libro, De precetti del pittore"; fols. 309-315: "Tavola dela Terza Parte del libro"; fol. 316: "Tavola dela Quarta Parte del libro, De panni"; fols. 317-324v: "Tavola della Quinta Parte del libro, D'ombra et lume"; fols. 325-327: "Tavola dela Sesta Parte del libro, D'alberi et verdure"; fol. 328: "Tavola dela Septima Parte del libro, De nuvoli"; fol. 329: "Tavola dela Ottava Parte del libro, del orizonte"; fols. 330v-331r: "Memorie et Notta di tutti i pezzi de libri di mano di Leonardo quali compongono insieme lo presente Libro del Trattato di pittura", List of 18 manuscripts by Leonardo that Melzi used to compile the Libro di pittura
Pedretti-Vecce, Libro di pittura, 1995; Steinitz, Treatise on Painting, 1958, pp. 39-44 (A, 1); Farago, Leonardo da Vinci's Paragone, 1992; Farago, "Introduction," Re-Reading Leonardo, 2009, 1-36; 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; 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. 119-156; 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; 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.
|For reproductions contact: