Leonardo Notes

How to be a better painter

Based on the notes in his notebook:

What is the function of the eye?

Painting is concerned with the 10 attributes of sight:

  1. Darkness
  2. light
  3. solidity
  4. color
  5. form and
  6. position
  7. distance and
  8. propinquity
  9. motion and
  10. rest

‘use these rules to imitate works of nature which adorn the world.’

Mathematics and art

five terms of mathematicians:

  1. the point
  2. the line
  3. the angle
  4. the superficies
  5. the solid

Different types of lines:

  1. straight
  2. curved
  3. sinuous
  4. (has no breadth, height, or depth)— indivisible.

line: has no matter nor substance; is an imaginary idea than a real object— because in nature it occupies no space.


drawing is based on perspective, which is nothing else than a thorough knowledge of the function of the eye:

perspective is when the eye is knowledgeable how to see.

Impressions of images on the eye:

‘if you look at the sun and then shut your eyes, you will see it inside your eyes for a long time. that is evidence that images enter the eye’

the eye is the target of images

Question: How do images that enter our eye; effect our mind and emotions?