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- Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci - 20/159 -

[Footnote 20: See Footnote 18]: that is to say the depth of a shadow increases in proportion to the distance from the two lights.

The fourth is the shadow _k r s_ and this is all the darker in natural tone in proportion as it is nearer to _k s_, because it gets less of the light _a o_, but by the accident [of distance] it is rendered less deep, because it is nearer to the light _c d_, and thus is always exposed to both lights.

The fifth is less deep in shadow than either of the others because it is always entirely exposed to one of the lights and to the whole or part of the other; and it is less deep in proportion as it is nearer to the two lights, and in proportion as it is turned towards the outer side _x t_; because it is more exposed to the second light _a b_.

[Footnote: The diagram to this section is given on Pl. V. To the left is the facsimile of the beginning of the text belonging to it.]



Why, at the intersections _a_, _b_ of the two compound shadows _e f_ and _m e_, is a simple shadow pfoduced as at _e h_ and _m g_, while no such simple shadow is produced at the other two intersections _c d_ made by the very same compound shadows?


Compound shadow are a mixture of light and shade and simple shadows are simply darkness. Hence, of the two lights _n_ and _o_, one falls on the compound shadow from one side, and the other on the compound shadow from the other side, but where they intersect no light falls, as at _a b_; therefore it is a simple shadow. Where there is a compound shadow one light or the other falls; and here a difficulty arises for my adversary since he says that, where the compound shadows intersect, both the lights which produce the shadows must of necessity fall and therefore these shadows ought to be neutralised; inasmuch as the two lights do not fall there, we say that the shadow is a simple one and where only one of the two lights falls, we say the shadow is compound, and where both the lights fall the shadow is neutralised; for where both lights fall, no shadow of any kind is produced, but only a light background limiting the shadow. Here I shall say that what my adversary said was true: but he only mentions such truths as are in his favour; and if we go on to the rest he must conclude that my proposition is true. And that is: That if both lights fell on the point of intersection, the shadows would be neutralised. This I confess to be true if [neither of] the two shadows fell in the same spot; because, where a shadow and a light fall, a compound shadow is produced, and wherever two shadows or two equal lights fall, the shadow cannot vary in any part of it, the shadows and the lights both being equal. And this is proved in the eighth [proposition] on proportion where it is said that if a given quantity has a single unit of force and resistance, a double quantity will have double force and double resistance.


The intersection _n_ is produced by the shadows caused by the light _b_, because this light _b_ produces the shadow _x b_, and the shadow _s b_, but the intersection _m_ is produced by the light _a_ which causes the shadow _s a_, and the shadow _x a_.

But if you uncover both the lights _a b_, then you get the two shadows _n m_ both at once, and besides these, two other, simple shadows are produced at _r o_ where neither of the two lights falls at all. The grades of depth in compound shadows are fewer in proportion as the lights falling on, and crossing them are less numerous.


Why the intersections at _n_ being composed of two compound derived shadows, forms a compound shadow and not a simple one, as happens with other intersections of compound shadows. This occurs, according to the 2nd [diagram] of this [prop.] which says:--The intersection of derived shadows when produced by the intersection of columnar shadows caused by a single light does not produce a simple shadow. And this is the corollary of the 1st [prop.] which says:--The intersection of simple derived shadows never results in a deeper shadow, because the deepest shadows all added together cannot be darker than one by itself. Since, if many deepest shadows increased in depth by their duplication, they could not be called the _deepest_ shadows, but only part-shadows. But if such intersections are illuminated by a second light placed between the eye and the intersecting bodies, then those shadows would become compound shadows and be uniformly dark just as much at the intersection as throughout the rest. In the 1st and 2nd above, the intersections _i k_ will not be doubled in depth as it is doubled in quantity. But in this 3rd, at the intersections _g n_ they will be double in depth and in quantity.



The derived shadow of the dark walls on each side of the bright light of the window are what mingle their various degrees of shade with the light derived from the window; and these various depths of shade modify every portion of the light, except where it is strongest, at _c_. To prove this let _d a_ be the primary shadow which is turned towards the point _e_, and darkens it by its derived shadow; as may be seen by the triangle _a e d_, in which the angle _e_ faces the darkened base _d a e_; the point _v_ faces the dark shadow _a s_ which is part of _a d_, and as the whole is greater than a part, _e_ which faces the whole base [of the triangle], will be in deeper shadow than _v_ which only faces part of it. In consequence of the conclusion [shown] in the above diagram, _t_ will be less darkened than _v_, because the base of the _t_ is part of the base of the _v_; and in the same way it follows that _p_ is less in shadow than _t_, because the base of the _p_ is part of the base of the _t_. And _c_ is the terminal point of the derived shadow and the chief beginning of the highest light.

[Footnote: The diagram on Pl. IV, No. 5 belongs to this passage; but it must be noted that the text explains only the figure on the right-hand side.]


On the shape of the cast shadows (188-191).


The form of the shadow cast by any body of uniform density can never be the same as that of the body producing it. [Footnote: Comp. the drawing on PI. XXVIII, No. 5.]


No cast shadow can produce the true image of the body which casts it on a vertical plane unless the centre of the light is equally distant from all the edges of that body.


If a window _a b_ admits the sunlight into a room, the sunlight will magnify the size of the window and diminish the shadow of a man in such a way as that when the man makes that dim shadow of himself, approach to that which defines the real size of the window, he will see the shadows where they come into contact, dim and confused from the strength of the light, shutting off and not allowing the solar rays to pass; the effect of the shadow of the man cast by this contact will be exactly that figured above.

[Footnote: It is scarcely possible to render the meaning of this sentence with strict accuracy; mainly because the grammatical construction is defective in the most important part--line 4. In the very slight original sketch the shadow touches the upper arch of the window and the correction, here given is perhaps not justified.]


A shadow is never seen as of uniform depth on the surface which intercepts it unless every portion of that surface is equidistant from the luminous body. This is proved by the 7th which says:--The shadow will appear lighter or stronger as it is surrounded by a darker or a lighter background. And by the 8th of this:--The background will be in parts darker or lighter, in proportion as it is farther from or nearer to the luminous body. And:--Of various spots equally distant from the luminous body those will always be in the highest light on which the rays fall at the smallest angles: The outline of the shadow as it falls on inequalities in the surface will be seen with all the contours similar to those of the body that casts it, if the eye is placed just where the centre of the light was.

The shadow will look darkest where it is farthest from the body that casts it. The shadow _c d_, cast by the body in shadow _a b_ which is equally distant in all parts, is not of equal depth because it is seen on a back ground of varying brightness. [Footnote: Compare the three diagrams on Pl. VI, no 1 which, in the original accompany this section.]

On the outlines of cast shadows (192-195).


The edges of a derived shadow will be most distinct where it is cast nearest to the primary shadow.


As the derived shadow gets more distant from the primary shadow, the more the cast shadow differs from the primary shadow.



The greater the difference between a light and the body lighted by it, the light being the larger, the more vague will be the outlines of the shadow of that object.

The derived shadow will be most confused towards the edges of its interception by a plane, where it is remotest from the body casting it.

Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci - 20/159

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