LEONARDO DA VINCI -  from the "Treatise on Painting":

Rules for the Painter


“The person who does not love to the same degree all things present in the art of painting will not be a Universalist;  It is the same with the one who does not like landscapes and considers they merit only a brief and simple study.  As the master Boticelli stated, such a study is useful because just by throwing a sponge soaked with various colors against a wall to make a stain, one can find a beautiful landscape. If it is true that in this stain various inventions can be discerned,  or rather what one wants to find in it, such as battles, reefs, seas, clouds, forests and other similar things, then surely,  this is like the ringing of bells in which one can understand whatever one wants to.  But, even though these smears of color provide you with  inventions, they also show you that they do not come to represent anything in particular.  And this painter produced  very sad landscapes...............”

A Way to increase and bring out the genius in some of the inventions


“I will not forget to insert into these rules, a new theoretical invention for knowledge’s sake, which, ,although it seems of little import and good for a laugh, is nonetheless, of great utility in bringing out the creativity in some of these inventions.  This is the case if you cast your glance on any walls dirty with such stains or walls made up of rock formations of different types.  If you have to invent some scenes, you will be able to discover them there in diverse forms,  in diverse landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, extensive plains, valleys, and hills. You can even see different battle scenes and movements made up of unusual figures,  faces with strange expressions,  and myriad things which you can  transform into a complete and proper form constituting part of similar walls and rocks. These are like the sound of bells, in whose tolling, you hear names and words that your imagination conjures up. 
Don’t underestimate this idea of mine, which calls to mind that it would not be too much of an effort to pause sometimes to look into these stains on walls,  the ashes from the fire,  the clouds,  the mud, or other similar places.  If these are well contemplated, you will find fantastic inventions that awaken the genius of the painter to new inventions, such as compositions of battles, animals, and men, as well as diverse composition of landscapes, and monstrous things, as devils and the like. These will do you well because they will awaken genius with this jumble of things.  But, first you must know the components of all those groups of things you wish to represent, such as the members of the animal kingdom, as well as the components of the countryside, such as  rocks, plants and similar things........”

Italiano - Spanish

(The text and illustrations published at this site in reference to the graphic elaborations of St. Anne's work are exclusive property of the author. They may be used prior authorization of the author).

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