The Madrid Codices of Leonardo da Vinci
On February 1st 1966, the world was struck by a sensational piece of news: two manuscripts by Leonardo were discovered in Madrid at the Biblioteca Nacional. In the 1830s, an error in cataloguing concealed 700 holograph pages by Leonardo. Their discovery makes an enormous contribution in revealing new aspects of his intellect.
In the first volume, the studies revolve around the principles of mechanics and their numerous practical applications in devices of high perfection and great beauty, accompanied by many notes on hydraulics.
The second volume deals mainly with urbanistic topics, including studies for fortifications at Piombino in Tuscany and the canalisation of the Arno River, as well as important transcriptions from a part of the treatise on military engineering by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a gift of the author to Leonardo. It includes studies on waves, the flight of birds, musical instruments and geographical maps with plans for canals, as well as very valuable information on the books owned by Leonardo.
The codex finishes with a section on the project for the casting of the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza.
McGraw-Hill’s Deluxe Edition- published by special arrangement with the Spanish Ministry of Education – is exclusive for the entire English-speaking world and is strictly limited to 1000 numbered sets – of which no more than 985 will ever be placed on sale.
The set is in five volumes. The first two are Leonardo’s notebooks, meticulously reproduced in color gravure from the original manuscripts. Volume III is a general commentary by the late, renowned Leonardo scholar Ladislao Reti. In Volumes IV and V, Leonardo’s writing is both transcribed in Italian and translated into English by Professor Reti. Each set is authenticated by an official certificate issued by the Spanish Government, bearing the signature and seal of the Director of the National Library of Spain.
All volumes are bound in red leather with gold tooling, exactly duplicating the 18th-century bindings of the original notebooks. The Certificate is encased in a leather box matching the volumes. In its transparent display case, the set is a truly magnificent art object, as well as a work of great scholarship. Because of its beauty and exclusivity (all plates have been destroyed), this Deluxe Edition is almost certain to appreciate in value over the years.