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- Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci - 10/159 -


prospettiva di Bramantino). La prima prospettiva fa le cose di punto, e l'altra non mai, e la terza piu appresso. Adunque la prima si dimanda prospettiva, cioe ragione, la quale fa l'effetto dell' occhio, facendo crescere e calare secondo gli effetti degli occhi. Questo crescere e calare non procede della cosa propria, che in se per esser lontana, ovvero vicina, per quello effetto non puo crescere e sminuire, ma procede dagli effetti degli occhi, i quali sono piccioli, e percio volendo vedere tanto gran cosa_, bisogna che mandino fuora la virtu visiva, _la quale si dilata in tanta larghezza, che piglia tutto quello che vuoi vedere, ed_ arrivando a quella cosa la vede dove e: _e da lei agli occhi per quello circuito fino all' occhio, e tutto quello termine e pieno di quella cosa_.

It is worthy of note that Leonardo had made his memorandum refuting this view, at Milan in 1492]

69.

A parallel case.

Just as a stone flung into the water becomes the centre and cause of many circles, and as sound diffuses itself in circles in the air: so any object, placed in the luminous atmosphere, diffuses itself in circles, and fills the surrounding air with infinite images of itself. And is repeated, the whole every-where, and the whole in every smallest part. This can be proved by experiment, since if you shut a window that faces west and make a hole [Footnote: 6. Here the text breaks off.] . .

[Footnote: Compare LIBRI, _Histoire des sciences mathematiques en Italie_. Tome III, p. 43.]

The function of the eye as explained by the camera obscura (70. 71).

70.

If the object in front of the eye sends its image to the eye, the eye, on the other hand, sends its image to the object, and no portion whatever of the object is lost in the images it throws off, for any reason either in the eye or the object. Therefore we may rather believe it to be the nature and potency of our luminous atmosphere which absorbs the images of the objects existing in it, than the nature of the objects, to send their images through the air. If the object opposite to the eye were to send its image to the eye, the eye would have to do the same to the object, whence it might seem that these images were an emanation. But, if so, it would be necessary [to admit] that every object became rapidly smaller; because each object appears by its images in the surrounding atmosphere. That is: the whole object in the whole atmosphere, and in each part; and all the objects in the whole atmosphere and all of them in each part; speaking of that atmosphere which is able to contain in itself the straight and radiating lines of the images projected by the objects. From this it seems necessary to admit that it is in the nature of the atmosphere, which subsists between the objects, and which attracts the images of things to itself like a loadstone, being placed between them.

PROVE HOW ALL OBJECTS, PLACED IN ONE POSITION, ARE ALL EVERYWHERE AND ALL IN EACH PART.

I say that if the front of a building--or any open piazza or field--which is illuminated by the sun has a dwelling opposite to it, and if, in the front which does not face the sun, you make a small round hole, all the illuminated objects will project their images through that hole and be visible inside the dwelling on the opposite wall which may be made white; and there, in fact, they will be upside down, and if you make similar openings in several places in the same wall you will have the same result from each. Hence the images of the illuminated objects are all everywhere on this wall and all in each minutest part of it. The reason, as we clearly know, is that this hole must admit some light to the said dwelling, and the light admitted by it is derived from one or many luminous bodies. If these bodies are of various colours and shapes the rays forming the images are of various colours and shapes, and so will the representations be on the wall.

[Footnote: 70. 15--23. This section has already been published in the "_Saggio delle Opere di Leonardo da Vinci_" Milan 1872, pp. 13, 14. G. Govi observes upon it, that Leonardo is not to be regarded as the inventor of the Camera obscura, but that he was the first to explain by it the structure of the eye. An account of the Camera obscura first occurs in CESARE CESARINI's Italian version of Vitruvius, pub. 1523, four years after Leonardo's death. Cesarini expressly names Benedettino Don Papnutio as the inventor of the Camera obscura. In his explanation of the function of the eye by a comparison with the Camera obscura Leonardo was the precursor of G. CARDANO, Professor of Medicine at Bologna (died 1576) and it appears highly probable that this is, in fact, the very discovery which Leonardo ascribes to himself in section 21 without giving any further details.]

71.

HOW THE IMAGES OF OBJECTS RECEIVED BY THE EYE INTERSECT WITHIN THE CRYSTALLINE HUMOUR OF THE EYE.

An experiment, showing how objects transmit their images or pictures, intersecting within the eye in the crystalline humour, is seen when by some small round hole penetrate the images of illuminated objects into a very dark chamber. Then, receive these images on a white paper placed within this dark room and rather near to the hole and you will see all the objects on the paper in their proper forms and colours, but much smaller; and they will be upside down by reason of that very intersection. These images being transmitted from a place illuminated by the sun will seem actually painted on this paper which must be extremely thin and looked at from behind. And let the little perforation be made in a very thin plate of iron. Let _a b e d e_ be the object illuminated by the sun and _o r_ the front of the dark chamber in which is the said hole at _n m_. Let _s t_ be the sheet of paper intercepting the rays of the images of these objects upside down, because the rays being straight, _a_ on the right hand becomes _k_ on the left, and _e_ on the left becomes _f_ on the right; and the same takes place inside the pupil.

[Footnote: This chapter is already known through a translation into French by VENTURI. Compare his '_Essai sur les ouvrages physico-mathematiques de L. da Vinci avec des fragments tires de ses Manuscrits, apportes de l'Italie. Lu a la premiere classe de l'Institut national des Sciences et Arts.' Paris, An V_ (1797).]

The practice of perspective (72. 73).

72.

In the practice of perspective the same rules apply to light and to the eye.

73.

The object which is opposite to the pupil of the eye is seen by that pupil and that which is opposite to the eye is seen by the pupil.

Refraction of the rays falling upon the eye (74. 75)

74.

The lines sent forth by the image of an object to the eye do not reach the point within the eye in straight lines.

75.

If the judgment of the eye is situated within it, the straight lines of the images are refracted on its surface because they pass through the rarer to the denser medium. If, when you are under water, you look at objects in the air you will see them out of their true place; and the same with objects under water seen from the air.

The intersection of the rays (76-82).

76.

The inversion of the images.

All the images of objects which pass through a window [glass pane] from the free outer air to the air confined within walls, are seen on the opposite side; and an object which moves in the outer air from east to west will seem in its shadow, on the wall which is lighted by this confined air, to have an opposite motion.

77.

THE PRINCIPLE ON WHICH THE IMAGES OF BODIES PASS IN BETWEEN THE MARGINS OF THE OPENINGS BY WHICH THEY ENTER.

What difference is there in the way in which images pass through narrow openings and through large openings, or in those which pass by the sides of shaded bodies? By moving the edges of the opening through which the images are admitted, the images of immovable objects are made to move. And this happens, as is shown in the 9th which demonstrates: [Footnote 11: _per la 9a che dicie_. When Leonardo refers thus to a number it serves to indicate marginal diagrams; this can in some instances be distinctly proved. The ninth sketch on the page W. L. 145 b corresponds to the middle sketch of the three reproduced.] the images of any object are all everywhere, and all in each part of the surrounding air. It follows that if one of the edges of the hole by which the images are admitted to a dark chamber is moved it cuts off those rays of the image that were in contact with it and gets nearer to other rays which previously were remote from it &c.

OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE EDGE AT THE RIGHT OR LEFT, OR THE UPPER, OR LOWER EDGE.

If you move the right side of the opening the image on the left will move [being that] of the object which entered on the right side of the opening; and the same result will happen with all the other sides of the opening. This can be proved by the 2nd of this which shows: all the rays which convey the images of objects through the air are straight lines. Hence, if the images of very large bodies have to pass through very small holes, and beyond these holes recover their large size, the lines must necessarily intersect.

[Footnote: 77. 2. In the first of the three diagrams Leonardo had drawn only one of the two margins, et _m_.]

78.

Necessity has provided that all the images of objects in front of the eye shall intersect in two places. One of these intersections is in the pupil, the other in the crystalline lens; and if this were


Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci - 10/159

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