This paper focuses on the interaction between scientific, literary, and artistic research in Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts, which aim to examine and represent natural forms. Drawing upon his employment of fables and emblems in scientific contexts, I argue that Leonardo undertakes an aesthetic and philosophical project that uses empirical, diagrammatic, and pictorial strategies toward the investigation of nature. Through case studies on the fables and the emblems of the lily, the butterfly, and the mirror, I show that Leonardo’s textual and visual forms are modeled on a recurrent binary structure. By means of this binary model, which is also echoed in his scientific diagrams, Leonardo illustrates the causes and the consequences of a natural phenomenon. Ultimately, thanks to the interaction of different fields of analysis – such as geometrical transformation of shapes, fables, and emblems – Leonardo is able to reach a truthful representation of Nature.

Cirnigliaro, G. (2021). Fables, Emblems, and Natural Forms in Leonardo's Manuscripts. In A.D. Gianluca Cuozzo (a cura di), Pensiero Tecnica Creatività. Leonardo da Vinci e il Rinascimento (pp. 169-187). Milano - Udine : Mimesis Edizioni.

Fables, Emblems, and Natural Forms in Leonardo's Manuscripts

Giuditta Cirnigliaro
2021

Abstract

This paper focuses on the interaction between scientific, literary, and artistic research in Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts, which aim to examine and represent natural forms. Drawing upon his employment of fables and emblems in scientific contexts, I argue that Leonardo undertakes an aesthetic and philosophical project that uses empirical, diagrammatic, and pictorial strategies toward the investigation of nature. Through case studies on the fables and the emblems of the lily, the butterfly, and the mirror, I show that Leonardo’s textual and visual forms are modeled on a recurrent binary structure. By means of this binary model, which is also echoed in his scientific diagrams, Leonardo illustrates the causes and the consequences of a natural phenomenon. Ultimately, thanks to the interaction of different fields of analysis – such as geometrical transformation of shapes, fables, and emblems – Leonardo is able to reach a truthful representation of Nature.
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Cirnigliaro, G. (2021). Fables, Emblems, and Natural Forms in Leonardo's Manuscripts. In A.D. Gianluca Cuozzo (a cura di), Pensiero Tecnica Creatività. Leonardo da Vinci e il Rinascimento (pp. 169-187). Milano - Udine : Mimesis Edizioni.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/389599
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