Leonardo da Vinci's written observations about painting rank among the most remarkable from any era. Never edited by the author himself into a single coherent book, these writings were compiled many years after Leonardo's death into the principal repository of his practical thoughts on the techniques of drawing and painting. A Treatise on Painting
begins with precise instructions on drawing the human body and then moves on to techniques of rendering motion. Other topics include perspective, composition, the expression of various emotions, creating effects of light and shadow, and color. With 48 anatomical drawings by Nicholas Poussin and geometrical and architectural designs by Leon Battista Alberti, this famous volume remains one of the world's most useful and valuable art instruction books.
Reprint of the John Francis Rigaud translation, George Bell and Sons, London, 1877.