Saturday, 22 August 2009

The da Vinci Codices.

The final day of the exhibition is on 16th Aug.

My sis and I went on 14th Aug. ;)

I’m just writing some random trivia that I read from the exhibition before I forget them. You can soooo totally skip this post hehehe.

There were 4 Leonardo da Vinci codices, the total which speculated to be less than a quarter of all the things he had written in his lifetime.

He was a left-hander, and since he was born illegitimate, he never got a proper education and no one corrected his left-handedness. He wrote backwards too (words can be read correctly in front of a mirror.)

He was an apprentice under Verocchio (or Verrochio?) and broke the tradition of using egg-yolk for the base of the colour used in paintings. He used oil, and his end product prompted Verocchio to retire, since Leo had surpassed the master.

He was fascinated on the beauty of nature, especially the flight of birds, and worked on sketchings with the idea of taking human to flight in mind. He had a sketching of a parachute in the shape of a pyramid (which was tested by modern parachuter, and it worked fine), a spiral shaped wing device, a paraglider and a manually powered mechanism that mimicked the avian flight.

He was a military engineer too, even though he was averse to violence. On display were sketchings of a cannon, a catalpult, a tank moved by crank, two versions of horse carriages that had spinning scythes in rotation to cut off enemy’s legs, a submarine meant for the task of sabotaging enemy ship, a webbed glove paddle, a bridge designed to be easily built from logs (to run from enemy) and a few more that I can’t remember.

He also had a lot of sketchings of pulleys, cranes, jacks meant to carry weight without expensing much energy.

He exhumed around 30 bodies of men and women to study the human anatomy, and was, in my opinion, 90% accurate in comparison to the modern Gray’s Anatomy (he even had a cross-section drawing of 2 bodies: a man and woman in the midst of copulation).

He tried to make man tread on water (and is the predecessor of the snow ski kit), he tried to let man dive underwater (diving suit), and spring coils, mechanised hammer, altitude indicator, ball bearings are just some of the other things on display as well, all replicas based on his sketchings.

The Vitruvian Man. Golden ratio = 1:1.618. This golden ratio exists in all of nature, on our body as well. (Go read The Da Vinci’s Code, it’s all in there). The circle in the Vitruvian Man represents the spiritual world, and the square represents the physical world, e.g., the four elements, the four wind directions. The fingertips of the raised arms touch where the circle and the square intersect. The centre of the circle is the naval, and the centre of the square is the genitals. Four fingers make a palm, and six palms make a cubit, the length from fingertip to elbow. From knee to foot is a cubit. The shoulder span is one cubit.

The face is cut evenly into 3 parts. 1/3 of face is forehead, 1/3 from eyebrow to nose, and 1/3 from nose to chin. The length of the ear is 1/3 of the face, and the face is as long as your whole palm. (There are more measurements that I can’t remember now.)

He was the man who wanted to know everything. And I was f***ing blown away.


Things I didn’t notice or know about the Mona Lisa painting until today.

1) She had curls.
2) She wore a veil.
3) She isn’t looking at me, but rather, behind me.
4) She had beautiful lace on her garment at her chest.
5) She was painted with rosy cheeks, not the yellow face she has now.
6) She looks more like a maiden to me now, instead of the middle-aged woman I thought she looked like.
7) The original colours of the painting is beautiful, unlike the yellowy shit we see today.
8) One of her fingers was revealed to have had its position amended.
9) To Leo, the painting is unfinished. He has been working on the painting for years.


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