The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
The apparent size of objects defined by calculation (99-105)Linear Perspective deals with the action of the lines of sight, in proving by measurement how much smaller is a second object than the first, and how much the third is smaller than the second; and so on by degrees to the end of things visible. I find by experience that if a second object is as far beyond the first as the first is from the eye, although they are of the same size, the second will seem half the size of the first and if the third object is of the same size as the 2nd, and the 3rd is as far beyond the second as the 2nd from the first, it will appear of half the size of the second; and so on by degrees, at equal distances, the next farthest will be half the size of the former object. So long as the space does not exceed the length of 20 braccia. But, beyond 20 braccia figures of equal size will lose 2/4 and at 40 braccia they will lose 9/10, and 19/20 at 60 braccia, and so on diminishing by degrees. This is if the picture plane is distant from you twice your own height. If it is only as far off as your own height, there will be a great difference between the first braccia and the second.
59:48 : This chapter is included in DUFRESNE'S and MANZI'S editions of the Treatise on Painting. H. LUDWIG, in his commentary, calls this chapter "eines der wichtigsten im ganzen Tractat", but at the same time he asserts that its substance has been so completely disfigured in the best MS. copies that we ought not to regard Leonardo as responsible for it. However, in the case of this chapter, the old MS. copies agree with the original as it is reproduced above. From the chapters given later in this edition, which were written at a subsequent date, it would appear that Leonardo corrected himself on these points.