Printed Edition



A Treatise on Painting, by Leonardo da Vinci
Senex and Taylor, London


LDE T0380   CID244  How to represent a Person speaking to a Multitude

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To represent a Person haranguing a Multitude, consider in the first Place, the subject Matter on which he is to entertain them; in order to give him an Action suitable to the Occasion: for Instance, if the Business be to perswade them, let it appear in his Gestures; if it be to argue and deduce Reasons, let him hold one of the Fingers of his Left-Hand, between two of those of the Right, keeping the other two shut; let his Face be turned to the Assembly, and his Mouth half open, so as that he may appear to speak; if he be sitting, let him seem as about to rise, advancing his Head a little forwards; If he be represented standing, let him recline a little with his Head, and Breast towards the People, and let the Assembly be seen listening with silence and Attention; let all their Eyes be fastned on the Speaker, and let their Actions discover somewhat of Admiration: let some old Man be seen wondring at what he hears, with his Mouth shut, his Lips drawn close, Wrinkles about the Corners of his Mouth, the bottom of his Cheeks, and in the Forehead, occasion'd by the Eye-brows, which must be rais'd, near the setting on of the Nose: let others be represented sitting, with their Fingers clasped within each other, bearing up their left Knee: another old Man may be seen with his Knees thrown a cross each other, his Elbow leaning on his Knee, and with his Hand, supporting his Chin, which may be covered with a venerable Beard.