Leo

Leo
Leonardo sped from one creative experience to another
his reach as for his grasp. His career was vagrant and unfocused; in fact, he never had a career. He seemed to have had no civic loyalty. Nor devotion to church or Christ. He willingly accepted commissions from the popes or their enemies. He lacked the sensual worldliness of a Boccaccio or a Chaucer, the recklessness of a Rabelais, the piety of a Dante or the religious passion of a Michelangelo.
The vast disorderly notebooks in his own hand mystify as much as they explain. No other artist bequeathed so copious a record of his thoughts and yet told us so little of himself. The 3,500 closely written pages that have survived of his notebooks may be only a quarter of those left at his death. Whole notebooks have been lost or broken up, and single sheets now turn up around the world. Some of the 19 existing notebooks were small enough to be carried about on Leonardo?s belt for occasional jottings, some were large folios. While most of the script is clear, and legible if viewed in a mirror, it is almost all in "mirror writing," written "backwards." Since Leonardo was probably left-handed, this way of writing might have come quite naturally to him. It could hardly have kept the contents secret or deceived the censors since his texts were copiously illustrated. Perhaps Leonardo only wished to make trouble for any who dared to read his private jottings.

The vast disorderly notebooks in his own hand mystify as much as they explain. No other artist bequeathed so copious a record of his thoughts and yet told us so little of himself. The 3,500 closely written pages that have survived of his notebooks may be only a quarter of those left at his death. Whole notebooks have been lost or broken up, and single sheets now turn up around the world. Some of the 19 existing notebooks were small enough to be carried about on Leonardo?s belt for occasional jottings, some were large folios. While most of the script is clear, and legible if viewed in a mirror, it is almost all in "mirror writing," written "backwards." Since Leonardo was probably left-handed, this way of writing might have come quite naturally to him. It could hardly have kept the contents secret or deceived the censors since his texts were copiously illustrated. Perhaps Leonardo only wished to make trouble for any who dared to read his private jottings.

Leo 8.9 of 10 on the basis of 2128 Review.