The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
When you want to see if your picture corresponds throughout with the objects you have drawn from nature, take a mirror and look in that at the reflection of the real things, and compare the reflected image with your picture, and consider whether the subject of the two images duly corresponds in both, particularly studying the mirror. You should take the mirror for your guide--that is to say a flat mirror--because on its surface the objects appear in many respects as in a painting. Thus you see, in a painting done on a flat surface, objects which appear in relief, and in the mirror--also a flat surface--they look the same. The picture has one plane surface and the same with the mirror. The picture is intangible, in so far as that which appears round and prominent
cannot be grasped in the hands; and it is the same with the mirror. And since you can see that the mirror, by means of outlines, shadows and lights, makes objects appear in relief, you, who have in your colours far stronger lights and shades than those in the mirror, can certainly, if you compose your picture well, make that also look like a natural scene reflected in a large mirror.
265:254 : I understand the concluding lines of this passage as follows: If you draw the upper half a figure on a large sheet of paper laid out on the floor of a room (sala be piana) to the same scale (con le sue vere grosseze) as the lower half, already drawn upon the wall (lines 10, 11)you must then reduce them on a 'pariete di rilievo,' a curved vertical plane which serves as a model to reproduce the form of the vault.