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I. Prolegomena and General Introduction to the Book on Painting Index
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Among all the studies of natural causes and reasons Light chiefly delights the beholder; and among the great features of Mathematics

p. 16

the certainty of its demonstrations is what preeminently (tends to) elevate the mind of the investigator. Perspective, therefore, must be preferred to all the discourses and systems of human learning. In this branch [of science] the beam of light is explained on those methods of demonstration which form the glory not so much of Mathematics as of Physics and are graced with the flowers of both  13 . But its axioms being laid down at great length, I shall abridge them to a conclusive brevity, arranging them on the method both of their natural order and of mathematical demonstration; sometimes by deduction of the effects from the causes, and sometimes arguing the causes from the effects; adding also to my own conclusions some which, though not included in them, may nevertheless be inferred from them. Thus, if the Lord--who is the light of all things--vouchsafe to enlighten me, I will treat of Light; wherefore I will divide the present work into 3 Parts  14 .


16:13 : 5. Such of Leonardo's notes on Optics or on Perspective as bear exclusively on Mathematics or Physics could not be included in the arrangement of the libro di pittura which is here presented to the reader. They are however but few.

16:14 : 10. In the middle ages--for instance, by ROGER BACON, by VITELLONE, with whose works Leonardo was certainly familiar, and by all the writers of the Renaissance Perspective and Optics were not regarded as distinct sciences. Perspective, indeed, is in its widest application the science of seeing. Although to Leonardo the two sciences were clearly separate, it is not so as to their names; thus we find axioms in Optics under the heading Perspective. According to this arrangement of the materials for the theoretical portion of the libro di pittura propositions in Perspective and in Optics stand side by side or occur alternately. Although this particular chapter deals only with Optics, it is not improbable that the words partirò la presente opera in 3 parti may refer to the same division into three sections which is spoken of in chapters 14 to 17.

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