The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
On the relative size of shadows (196. 197).If an object placed in front of a single light is very close to it you will see that it casts a very large shadow on the opposite wall, and the farther you remove the object from the light the smaller will the image of the shadow become.
The disproportion of a shadow which is larger than the body producing it, results from the light being smaller than the body, so that it cannot be at an equal distance from the edges of the body 94 ; and the portions which are most remote are made larger than the nearer portions for this reason 95 .
The atmosphere which surrounds a light is almost like light itself for brightness and
colour; but the farther off it is the more it loses this resemblance. An object which casts a large shadow and is near to the light, is illuminated both by that light by the luminous atmosphere; hence this diffused light gives the shadow ill-defined edges.
109:94 11: H. LUDWIG in his edition of the old copies, in the Vatican library--in which this chapter is included under Nos. 612, 613 and 614 alters this passage as follows: quella parte ch'e piu propinqua piu cresce che le distanti, although the Vatican copy agrees with the original MS. in having distante in the former and propinque in the latter place. This supposed amendment seems to me to invert the facts. Supposing for instance, that on Pl. XXXI No. 3. f is the spot where the light is that illuminates the figure there represented, and that the line behind the figure represents a wall on which the shadow of the figure is thrown. It is evident, that in that case the nearest portion, in this case the under part of the thigh, is very little magnified in the shadow, and the remoter parts, for instance the head, are more magnified.
109:95 12: See Footnote 11