Philobiblon: Leonardo da Vinci was kind to his models

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Leonardo da Vinci was kind to his models

Browsing around looking for other historic bloggers as a companion for my Lady of Quality, I rediscovered a joint reading of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. From today's:

OF THE TIME FOR STUDYING SELECTION OF SUBJECTS
Winter evenings ought to be employed by young students in looking over the things prepared during the summer; that is, all the drawings from the nude done in the summer should be brought together and a choice made of the best [studies of] limbs and bodies among them, to apply in practice and commit to memory.

OF POSITIONS

After this in the following summer you should select some one who is well grown and who has not been brought up in doublets, and so may not be of stiff carriage, and make him go through a number of agile and graceful actions; and if his muscles do not show plainly within the outlines of his limbs that does not matter at all. It is enough that you can see good attitudes and you can correct [the drawing of] the limbs by those you studied in the winter.


Nice to know they didn't make models stand around in the cold.

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