The largest collection of Leonardo’s papers after the Codex Atlanticus, this volume has a mysterious provenance. It was put together after Leonardo’s death by assembling a number of loose sections probably awaiting a final order when it was acquired in about 1630 by Lord Arundel, an extensive traveller and art collector.
The Codex brings together a variety of studies ranging from mathematics to physics, from optics to astronomy. A longuest his celebrated youthful descriptions of the prehistoric sea-monster and of the ominous cavern, it contains designs for the hull of a submarine and for an underwater breathing apparatus, as well as studies on musical instruments, the theatrical machinery invented for the presentation of Orpheus by Agnolo Poliziano, and the later plans for the majestic royal residence at Romorantin in France.
Every aspect of Leonardo’s forty-year-long fervour for research in art, science and technology is fully represented with documents now made accessible for the first time.