The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
Shadow is diminution of light.
Darkness is absence of light.
Shadow is divided into two kinds, of which the first is called primary shadow, the second is derived shadow. The primary shadow is always the basis of the derived shadow.
The edges of the derived shadow are straight lines.
The darkness of the derived shadow diminishes in proportion as it is remote from the primary shadow.
91:69 : The theory of the ombra dirivativa--a technical expression for which there is no precise English equivalent is elaborately treated by Leonardo. But both text and diagrams (as Pl. IV, 1-3 and Pl. V) must at once convince the student that the distinction he makes between ombra primitiva and ombra dirivativa is not merely justifiable but scientific. Ombra dirivativa is by no means a mere abstract idea. This is easily proved by repeating the experiment made by Leonardo, and by filling with smoke the room in which the existence of the ombra dirivativa is investigated, when the shadow becomes visible. Nor is it difficult to perceive how much of Leonardo's teaching depended on this theory. The recognised, but extremely complicated science of cast shadows--percussione dell' ombre dirivative as Leonardo calls them--is thus rendered more intelligible if not actually simpler, and we must assume this theory as our chief guide through the investigations which follow.