November 30, 2016

Leonardo da Vinci Quotes

“A dark object seen against a bright background will appear smaller than it is. A light object will look larger when it is seen against a background darker than itself.”

“A luminous body when obscured by a dense atmosphere will appear smaller; as may be seen by the moon or sun veiled by fogs.”

“A luminous body will appear more brilliant in proportion as it is surrounded by deeper shadow.”

“A man was desired to rise from bed, because the sun was already risen. To which he replied: If I had as far to go, and as much to do as he has, I should be risen by now; but having but a little way to go, I shall not rise yet.”

“A point is not part of a line.”

“A shadow will appear dark in proportion to the brilliancy of the light surrounding it and conversely it will be less conspicuous where it is seen against a darker background.”

“A single and distinct luminous body causes stronger relief in the object than a diffused light; as may be seen by comparing one side of a landscape illuminated by the sun, and one overshadowed by clouds, and so illuminated only by the diffused light of the atmosphere.”

“All bodies together, and each by itself, give off to the surrounding air an infinite number of images which are all-pervading and each complete, each conveying the nature, colour and form of the body which produces it.”

“All objects project their whole image and likeness, diffused and mingled in the whole of the atmosphere, opposite to themselves. The image of every point of the bodily surface, exists in every part of the atmosphere. All the images of the objects are in every part of the atmosphere”

“All objects transmit their image to the eye in pyramids, and the nearer to the eye these pyramids are intersected the smaller will the image appear of the objects which cause them.”

“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”

“All the rays which convey the images of objects through the air are straight lines. Hence, if the images of very large bodies have to pass through very small holes, and beyond these holes recover their large size, the lines must necessarily intersect.”

“Although human subtlety makes a variety of inventions by different means to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”

“Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason.”

“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”

“Anyone who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory.”

“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.”

“As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.”

“As regards this vice, we read that the peacock is more guilty of it than any other animal. For it is always contemplating the beauty of its tail, which it spreads in the form of a wheel, and by its cries attracts to itself the gaze of the creatures that surround it. And this is the last vice to be conquered.”

“Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.”

“Common Sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses.”

“Darkness is absence of light. Shadow is diminution of light.”

“Envy wounds with false accusations, that is with detraction, a thing which scares virtue.”

“Every body in light and shade fills the surrounding air with infinite images of itself; and these, by infinite pyramids diffused in the air, represent this body throughout space and on every side.”

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

“Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.”

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

“He who does not punish evil commands that it be done.”

“He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”

“He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.”

“He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.”

“Human subtlety…will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”

“I am not to blame for putting forward, in the course of my work on science, any general rule derived from a previous conclusion.”

“I ask how far away the eye can discern a non-luminous body, as, for instance, a mountain. It will be very plainly visible if the sun is behind it; and could be seen at a greater or less distance according to the sun’s place in the sky.”

“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”

“I have wasted my hours.”

“I know that many will call this useless work.”

“If the Lord— who is the light of all things— vouchsafe to enlighten me, I will treat of Light; wherefore I will divide the present work into 3 Parts… Linear Perspective, The Perspective of Colour, The Perspective of Disappearance.”

“If you transmit the rays of the sun through a hole in the shape of a star you will see a beautiful effect of perspective in the spot where the sun’s rays fall.”

“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.”

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.”

“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”

“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”

“Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.”

“Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.”

“Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment.”

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”

“Let no man who is not a Mathematician read the elements of my work.”

“Life well spent is long.”

“Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent; and this will be discernible in boys who are not diligent and never finish their drawings with shading.”

“Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.”

“Mechanics is the paradise of the mathematical sciences because by means of it one comes to the fruits of mathematics.”

“Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.”

“Nature never breaks her own laws.”

“Necessity is the mistress and guardian of Nature.”

“No small hole can so modify the convergence of rays of light as to prevent, at a long distance, the transmission of the true form of the luminous body causing them.”

“O sleepers! what a thing is slumber! Sleep resembles death. Ah, why then dost thou not work in such wise as that after death thou mayst retain a resemblance to perfect life, when, during life, thou art in sleep so like to the hapless dead?”

“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”

“Of several luminous bodies of equal size and brilliancy and at an equal distance, that will look the largest which is surrounded by the darkest background.”

“Our life is made by the death of others.”

“Oysters open completely when the moon is full; and when the crab sees one it throws a piece of stone or seaweed into it and the oyster cannot close again so that it serves the crab for meat. Such is the fate of him who opens his mouth too much and thereby puts himself at the mercy of the listener.”

“Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.”

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”

“Patience serves us against insults precisely as clothes do against the cold. For if you multiply your garments as the cold increases, that cold cannot hurt you; in the same way increase your patience under great offences, and they cannot hurt your feelings.”

“Poor is the pupil that does not surpass his master.”

“Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.”

“Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past; prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly.”

“Shadow is the diminution alike of light and of darkness, and stands between darkness and light.”

“Shun those studies in which the work that results dies with the worker.”

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

“Small rooms or dwellings set the mind in the right path, large ones cause it to go astray.”

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

“That which has no limitations, has no form. The limitations of two conterminous bodies are interchangeably the surface of each. All the surfaces of a body are not parts of that body.”

“The Book of the science of Mechanics must precede the Book of useful inventions.”

“The eye can best distinguish the forms of objects when it is placed between the shaded and the illuminated parts.”

“The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark.”

“The function of muscle is to pull and not to push, except in the case of the genitals and the tongue.”

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”

“The instant the atmosphere is illuminated it will be filled with an infinite number of images which are produced by the various bodies and colours assembled in it. And the eye is the target, a lodestone, of these images.”

“The Medici created and destroyed me.”

“The mole has very small eyes and it always lives under ground; and it lives as long as it is in the dark but when it comes into the light it dies immediately, because it becomes known; – and so it is with lies.”

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”

“The outlines and form of any part of a body in light and shade are indistinct in the shadows and in the high lights; but in the portions between the light and the shadows they are highly conspicuous.”

“The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies every thing placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence.”

“The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things.”

“The point, being indivisible, occupies no space. That which occupies no space is nothing. The limiting surface of one thing is the beginning of another.”

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”

“The smallest natural point is larger than all mathematical points, and this is proved because the natural point has continuity, and any thing that is continuous is infinitely divisible; but the mathematical point is indivisible because it has no size.”

“The truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects.”

“The vine that has grown old on an old tree falls with the ruin of that tree, and through that bad companionship must perish with it.”

“Threats alone are the weapons of the threatened man.”

“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”

“Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.”

“Water is the driving force of all nature.”

“When you represent in your work shadows which you can only discern with difficulty, and of which you cannot distinguish the edges so that you apprehend them confusedly, you must not make them sharp or definite lest your work should have a wooden effect.”

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”

“Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.”

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”

“Who sows virtue reaps honor.”

“Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but rather memory.”

“Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?”

“You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.”

“You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.”