The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
When you wish to represent a man speaking to a number of people, consider the matter of which he has to treat and adapt
his action to the subject. Thus, if he speaks persuasively, let his action be appropriate to it. If the matter in hand be to set forth an argument, let the speaker, with the fingers of the right hand hold one finger of the left hand, having the two smaller ones closed; and
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head towards the people. These you must represent as silent and attentive, all looking at the orator's face with gestures of admiration; and make some old men in astonishment at the things they hear, with the corners of their mouths pulled down and drawn in, their cheeks full of furrows, and their eyebrows raised, and wrinkling the forehead where they meet. Again, some sitting with their fingers clasped holding their weary knees. Again, some bent old man, with one knee crossed over the other; on which let him hold his hand with his other elbow resting in it and the hand supporting his bearded chin.
298:274 : The sketches introduced here are a facsimile of a pen and ink drawing in the Louvre which Herr CARL BRUN considers as studies for the Last Supper in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (see Leonardo da Vinci, LXI, pp. 21, 27 and 28 in DOHME'S Kunst und Kunstler, Leipzig, Seemann). I shall not here enter into any discussion of this suggestion; but as a justification for introducing the drawing in this place, I may point out that some of the figures illustrate this passage as perfectly as though they had been drawn for that express purpose. I have discussed the probability of a connection between this sketch and the picture of the Last Supper on p. 335. The original drawing is 27 3/4 centimetres wide by 21 high.--The drawing in silver point on reddish paper given on Pl. LII. No. 1--the original at Windsor Castle--may also serve to illustrate the subject of appropriate gestures, treated in Nos. 593 and 594.