Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, 8936 and 8937

Madrid Codices Facsimile Edition

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On February 1st 1966, the world was struck by a sensational piece of news: two manuscripts by Leonardo were discovered in Madrid at the Biblioteca Nacional. In the 1830s, an error in cataloguing concealed 700 holograph pages by Leonardo. Their discovery makes an enormous contribution in revealing new aspects of his intellect.

In the first volume, the studies revolve around the principles of mechanics and their numerous practical applications in devices of high perfection and great beauty, accompanied by many notes on hydraulics.

The second volume deals mainly with urbanistic topics, including studies for fortifications at Piombino in Tuscany and the canalisation of the Arno River, as well as important transcriptions from a part of the treatise on military engineering by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a gift of the author to Leonardo. It includes studies on waves, the flight of birds, musical instruments and geographical maps with plans for canals, as well as very valuable information on the books owned by Leonardo.

The codex finishes with a section on the project for the casting of the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza.

Binding description

Red leather

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Madrid Codices": I Codici di Madrid facsimile edition, published by Giunti Editore, 1974

I Codici di Madrid

Florence: Giunti Editore, 1974

  • Commentary (Italian) by Reti, L.
  • Limited Edition: 1000 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Volumes I and II: facsimile reproductions of the two Madrid Codices: volume I, 382 plates; vol ume II, 316 plates.

Volume III: Introduction, the History of the Madrid Manuscripts and Notes edited by Ladislao Reti, with Indexes and Glossary, 154 pages.

Volumes IV and V: unabridged transcriptions annotated by Ladislao Reti, opposite are photographic reproductions and enlarge ments of details: volume IV, 536 pages; volume V, 336 pages.


Leather-covered slip-case (size 168 x 254 x 218 mm) containing five hand-bound leather volumes, with gold tooling on the spine.

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