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THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI
 

designs. Upon the margins of his manuscripts he jotted down pictorial ideas. Between the clauses of the "Codex Atlanticus" we find an early sketch for his lost picture of Leda.

The world at large to-day reverences him as a painter, but to Leonardo painting was but a section of the full circle of life. Everything that offered food to the vision or to the brain of man appealed to him. In the letter that he wrote to the Duke of Milan in 1482, offering his services, he sets forth, in detail, his qualifications in engineering and military science, in constructing buildings, in conducting water from one place to another, beginning with the clause, "I can construct bridges which are very light and strong and very portable." Not until the end of this long letter does he mention the fine arts, contenting himself with the brief statement, "I can further execute sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, also in painting I can do as much as any one else, whoever he be." Astronomy, optics, physiology, geology, botany, he brought his mind to bear upon all. Indeed, he who undertakes to write upon Leonardo is dazed by the range of his activities. He was military engineer to Caesar Borgia; he occupied himself with the construction of hydraulic works in Lombardy; he proposed to raise the Baptistery of San Giovanni at Florence; he schemed to connect the Loire by an immense canal with the Sâone; he experimented with flying-machines; and his early biographers testify to his skill as a musician. Painting and modelling he regarded but as a moiety of his genius. He spared no labour over a creation that absorbed him. Matteo Bandello, a member of the convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, gives the following account of his method when engaged upon The Last Supper. "He was wont, as I myself have often seen, to mount the scaffolding early in the morning and work until the approach of night, and in the interest of painting he forgot both meat and drink. There came two, three, or even four days when he did not stir a hand, but spent an hour or two in contemplating his work, examining and criticising the figures. I have seen him, too, at noon, when the sun stood in the sign of Leo, leave the Corte Vecchia (in the centre of the town), where he was engaged on his equestrian statue, and go straight to Santa Maria della Grazie, mount the scaffolding, seize a brush, add two or three touches to a single figure, and return forthwith."

Leonardo impressed his contemporaries and touched their imaginations, even as he captivates us to-day. Benvenuto Cellini describes King Francis as hanging upon Leonardo's words during the last years of his life, and saying that "he did not believe that any other