Some years afterwards (perhaps in 1228) Leonardo dedicated to the well-known astrologer Michael Scott the second edition of his Liber abaci, which was printed with Leonardo's other works by Prince Bald.
We know nothing of Leonardo's fate after he issued that second edition.
Leonardo's works are mainly developments of the results obtained by his predecessors; the influences of Greek, Arabian, and Indian mathematicians may be clearly discerned in his methods.
In his Practica geometriae plain traces of the use of the Roman agrimensores are met with; in his Liber abaci old Egyptian problems reveal their origin by the reappearance of the very numbers in which the problem is given, though one cannot guess through what channel they came to Leonardo's knowledge.
- To find a square number which remains a square after the addition and subtraction of 5, put to our mathematician in presence of the emperor by John of Palermo, who, perhaps, was quite enough Leonardo's friend to set him such problems only as he had himself asked for.
Leonardo's method, therefore, when the difference was a fixed condition of the problem, was necessarily very different from the Arabian, and, in all probability, was his own discovery.
As for the influence he exercised on posterity, it is enough to say that Luca Pacioli, about 1500, in his celebrated Summa, leans so exclusively to Leonardo's works (at that time known in manuscript only) that he frankly acknowledges his dependence on them, and states that wherever no other author is quoted all belongs to Leonardus Pisanus.
In it he mentions many earlier writers from whom he had learnt the science, and although it contains very little that cannot be found in Leonardo's work, yet it is especially noteworthy for the systematic employment of symbols, and the manner in which it reflects the state of mathematics in Europe during this period.
He describes an experiment made by a Benedictine monk and architect, Dom Papnutio or Panuce, of the same kind as Leonardo's but without the demonstration.
Like Leonardo, but with much less than Leonardo's genius for scientific speculation and divination, Diirer was a confirmed reasoner and theorist on the laws of nature and natural appearances.
The claim is, however, unwarranted; Leonardo's chief work on flight, bearing the title Codice sul Volo degli Uccelli e Varie Altre Materie, written in 1505, consists of a short manuscript of twenty-seven small quarto pages, with simple sketch illustrations interspersed in the text.
In none of Leonardo's manuscripts, however, and in none of his figures, is the slightest hint given of his having any knowledge of the spiral movements made by the wing in flight or of the spiral structure of the wing itself.
There is nothing in Leonardo's writings to show that he knew either the anatomy or physiology of the wing in the modern sense.
Leonardo's mother was called Catarina.
(A picture of this subject which long did duty at the Uffizi for Leonardo's work is in all likelihood merely the production of some later artist to whom the descriptions of that work have given the cue.) Lastly, Leonardo is related to have begun work in sculpture about this time by modelling several heads of smiling women and children.
The landscape, with its mysterious spiry mountains and winding waters, is very Leonardesque both in this picture and in another contemporary product of the workshop, or as some think of Leonardo's hand, namely a very highly and coldly finished small "Madonna with a Pink" at Munich.
The preparation in monochrome for this picture, a work of extraordinary power both of design and physiognomical expression, is preserved at the Uffizi, but the painting itself was never carried out, and after Leonardo's failure to fulfil his contract Filippino Lippi had once more to be employed in his place.
The first definite documentary evidence of Leonardo's employments at Milan dates from 1487.
No contemporary gives the least hint of Leonardo's having travelled in the East; to the places he mentions he gives their classical and not their current Oriental names; the catastrophes he describes are unattested from any other source; he confuses the Taurus and the Caucasus; some of the phenomena he mentions are repeated from Aristotle and Ptolemy; and there seems little reason to doubt that these passages in his MSS.
Leonardo's "Last Supper," for all its injuries, became from the first, and has ever since remained, for all Christendom the typical representation of the scene.
Leonardo's triumph with his "Last Supper" encouraged him in the hope of proceeding now to the casting of the Sforza monument or "Great Horse," the model of which had stood for the last three years the admiration of all beholders, in the Corte Vecchio of the Castello.
Pacioli was equally amazed and delighted at Leonardo's two great achievements in sculpture and painting, and still more at the genius for mathematical, physical and anatomical research shown in the collections of MS. notes which the master laid before him.
When, in the last decade of the 19th century, works of thorough architectural investigation and repair were undertaken in that building under the superintendence of Professor Luca Beltrami, a devoted foreign student, Dr Paul Muller-Walde, obtained leave to scrape for traces of Leonardo's handiwork beneath the replastered and whitewashed walls and ceilings of chambers that might be identified with these.
But in the great Sala dell' Asse (or della Torre) abundant traces of Leonardo's own hand were found, in the shape of a decoration of intricate geometrical knot or plait work .combined with natural leafage; the abstract puzzle-pattern, of a kind in which Leonardo took peculiar pleasure, intermingling in cunning play and contrast with a pattern of living boughs and leaves exquisitely drawn in free and vital growth.
Ludovico was taken prisoner and carried to France; the city, which had been strictly spared on the first entry of Louis XII., was entered and sacked; and the model of Leonardo's great statue made a butt (as eye witnesses tell) for Gascon archers.
Thus, of Leonardo's sixteen years' work at Milan (1483-1499) the results actually remaining are as follows: The Louvre "Virgin of the Rocks" possibly, i.e.
The painters especially recorded as Leonardo's immediate pupils during this part of his life at Milan are the two before mentioned, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Ambrogio Preda or de Predis, with Marco d'Oggionno and Andrea Salai, the last apparently less a fully-trained painter than a studio assistant and personal attendant, devotedly attached and faithful in both capacities.
Leonardo's own native Florentine manner had at first been not a little modified by that of the Milanese school as he found it represented in the works of such men as Bramantino, Borgognone and Zenale; but his genius had in its turn reacted far more strongly upon the younger members of the school, and exercised, now or later, a transforming and dominating influence not only upon his immediate pupils, but upon men like Luini, Giampetrino, Bazzi, Cesare da Sesto and indeed the whole Lombard school in the early 15th century.
The knowledge of Leonardo's position among and familiarity with such men early helped to spread the idea that he had been at the head of a regularly constituted academy of arts and sciences at Milan.
Evidently two different though nearly related designs had been maturing in Leonardo's mind.
Neither Leonardo's genius nor his noble manners could soften the rude and taunting temper of the younger man, whose style as an artist, nevertheless, in subjects both of tenderness and terror, underwent at this time a profound modification from Leonardo's example.
The young Raphael, whose incomparable instinct for rhythmical design had been trained hitherto on subjects of holy quietude and rapt contemplation according to the traditions of Umbrian art, learnt from Leonardo's example to apply the same instinct to themes of violent action and strife.
The king arrived in May 1507, and soon afterwards Leonardo's services were formally and amicably transferred from the signory of Florence to Louis, who gave him the title of painter and engineer in ordinary.
One of them, who followed his father's profession, made himself the champion of the others in disputing Leonardo's claim to his share, first in the paternal inheritance, and then in that which had been left to be divided between the brothers and sisters by an uncle.
But Leonardo's chief practical employments were evidently on the continuation of his great hydraulic and irrigation works in Lombardy.
Leonardo's special friend at the papal court was the pope's youngest brother, Giuliano de' Medici, a youth who combined dissipated habits with thoughtful culture and a genuine interest in arts and sciences.
Michelangelo and Raphael, who had both, as we have seen, risen to greatness partly on Leonardo's shoulders, were fresh from the glory of their great achievements in the Sistine Chapel and the Stanze.
The pope, indeed, is said to have been delighted with Leonardo's minor experiments and ingenuities in science, and especially by a kind of zoological toys which he had invented by way of pastime, as well as mechanical tricks played upon living animals.
The remaining two and a half years of Leonardo's life were spent at the Castle of Cloux near Amboise, which was assigned, with a handsome pension, to his use.
But the more the range and character of Leonardo's studies becomes ascertained the more his greatness dwarfs them all.
The MSS., with the single exception of some of those relating to painting, lay unheeded and undivulged until the present generation; and it is only now that the true range of Leonardo's powers is beginning to be fully discerned.
So much for the intellectual side of Leonardo's character and career.
Leonardo's chief implements were pen, silverpoint, and red and black chalk (red chalk especially).
- The only printed book bearing Leonardo's name until the recent issues of transcripts from his MSS.
Must have had before them much more of Leonardo's original text than is now extant.
In recent years a whole body of scholars and editors have been engaged in giving to the world the texts of Leonardo's existing MSS.
1906), a lucid and careful general estimate of great value, especially in reference to Leonardo's relations to modern science; Edward McCurdy, L.