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Leonardo da Vinci. Das Buch von der Malerei. Neu Übersetzte und kommentierte Ausgabe des Codex Urbinas 1270

Leonardo da Vinci's Libro di Pittura is one of the most important writings of the Renaissance. The manuscript goes far beyond the scope of a purely art-theoretical treatise, presenting a unique synthesis of natural-philosophical, medical, and technological insights with the practice and ethics of the painter, thus containing a sum of contemporary knowledge in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Despite the outstanding intellectual significance of the text, its complex edition history is comparably difficult. The book is a fragment, consisting of numerous notes and drawings of Leonardo, which were summarized in thematic passages. The original version of the Libro is the so-called Codex Urbinas 1270 in the Vatican Library in Rome. It goes back to the compiling work of Leonardo's pupil and collaborator Francesco Melzi, who inherited his records in 1519 after the death of Leonardo. The first German translation of the Codex Urbinas 1270 (Vaticanus) was published in three volumes in 1882 by the painter and art writer Heinrich Ludwig. It has remained to this day the most comprehensive German edition of Leonardo's painting treatise. In view of the tremendous dynamism of Leonardo's research, especially in the last seventy years, there is an urgent need to update the edition of Leonardo’s treatise by Heinrich Ludwig from the nineteenth century. This concerns in particular the comment, but can also apply to the translation. In both fields, a modern edition of the Libro di Pittura by Leonardo, the most complex treatise in the Renaissance for art theory as well as for history of science, is an important desideratum. Against the backdrop of its varied origins and editions, Leonardo's Libro di Pittura, with its overlapping of various sources, can only be understood as an open field of experimentation that shifts the boundaries of understanding textual authority and authenticity. But its very form constitutes also the modernity of the manuscript. Its more than eight hundred individual texts, in their rich diversity, their variations, contradictions and redundancies, allow us to track down the intellectual dynamics of Leonardo's artistic and scientific thinking. The aim of the project is to reissue Leonardo’s treatise in collaboration with a team of nine renowned scholars of early modern art, philosophy, and history of science. We want to update of the 19th century language of Heinrich Ludwig in a modern translation. Of particular importance is the commentary, which takes into account the tremendous amount of Leonardo scholarship in the last 140 years. This includes, in particular, research on optics and perspective, anatomy, botany, meteorology, aesthetics as well as the art-theoretical and moral-philosophical aspects of the text.

In cooperation with:
Universität Hamburg (Prof. Frank Fehrenbach)
Universität Urbino (Prof. Fabio Frosini)
Universität Frankfurt (Prof. Hans Aurenhammer)
Universität Bern (Dr. Claudia Lehmann)
Kunstuniversität Basel (Dr. Fabiana Cazzola-Senkpiel)
Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (PD Matteo Burioni)
KHI, Florence (Prof. Dr. Alessandro Nova, Dr. Hanna Gründler).