Leonardo’s Pocket Camera

One of Leonardo's 'cameras'

One of Leonardo’s ‘cameras’

Small ‘libricini’ (pocket sized notebooks) recorded whatever image took Leonardo’s fancy.

They were tied to his belt, and captured more detail than an ‘Instamatic.’ Notations of color, size, and even the weather was important to document, as it designated the quality of light.

No bigger than a pack of playing cards, Leonardo was able to take home glimpses of a fleeting pose or a line of poetry or the folds of a robe ruffled by the wind, or an elusive math equation that walking in the marketplace suddenly resolved.

“Observe people carefully in the streets and in the piazza and the fields. Note them down with a brief indication of forms, thus for a head make an O, and for an arm, a straight or bent line, the same for the legs and the body, and when you get home work these sketches up into a complete form.” – Leonardo da Vinci

– excerpt from ‘Leonardo da Vinci- flights of the mind’ by Charles Nicholl

And again: He writes questions to remind himself what to study:

a Leonardo 'libricini' (small book)

a Leonardo ‘libricini’ (small book)

describe how clouds are formed and how they dissolve, and what causes vapor to rise  – Leonardo

 – excerpt from ‘Leonardo da Vinci- flights of the mind’ by Charles Nicholl

Pick a ‘libricini.’ Any ‘libricini.’ Each one was full of tricks. What was up Leonardo’s sleeve? … Everything!

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About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website - www.veronicaknox.com
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