This group of drawings was produced for a scholarly project on Leonardo Da Vinci and carried out in Tuscany, Italy, in 2003. My particular activities centered on Leonardo’s use of the octagon, particularly as it might be used in the plans of centrally designed churches. Leonardo used the octagon throughout his life for many architectural and design projects. Almost always, these octagons were drawn as sketches or studies in his notebooks. My inquiry involved whether his drawn octagonal schemes, done freehand, would work if redone with compass and straightedge, and therefore be eventually actualized in three dimensions. In all but one case, his precision and accuracy were supreme. And in that one exception, quite possibly, the shortcoming was mine, not his.
These drawings are now in the collection of books, manuscripts, and other scholarly documents within the Biblioteca Communale Leonardiana, in Vinci, Italy. This museum and library are devoted to Leonardo da Vinci’s life and work.
Please go to the Writings section of my site to read my paper (originally published in the Nexus Network Journal) on Leonardo’s use of the octagon in his studies of domes and centrally planned churches.
Copyright 2010 Mark Reynolds
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A. Reynolds, the artist represented at markareynolds.com.