The Forster Codices comprise three manuscripts, each very different in terms of topic and dating. Initially owned by Francesco Melzi, they later passed to Pompeo Leoni, reaching Venice at some unspecified time. During the 1800s they were acquired by Earl Edward George Lytton, and upon his death were inherited by John Forster (1873), who in turn left them to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1876.

The subjects treated in the codices are quite varied, ranging from important studies on mathematics and geometry and research on hydraulic machinery to annotations on physics and the study of grammar. They also contain reflections of a different nature: cosmological themes, allusions to fables and witticisms, moral pronouncements, autobiographical information (the expenses for the burial of Caterina), numerous sketches of horses for the never-completed equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, urbanistic studies for Milan and drawings of the floor plan of the Cathedral in Milan. Stunningly beautiful and very interesting are the designs for the masked festivals related to his period at the court of Ludovico il Moro, where Leonardo was the artist and eclectic genius capable of fulfilling the requests of the entire palace.

Codex Forster I size 14.5x10 cm

Codex Forster II size 19.5x7 cm

Codex Forster III size 9x6 cm

Binding description

Parchment

We have 4 facsimiles of the manuscript "Forster Codices":

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#1 Codice Forster III

Ottaviano: Collezione Apocrifa Da Vinci, 2015

  • Commentary (Italian)
  • Limited Edition: 499 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Forster Codices: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile edition features only Codex Forster III.

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#2 Codice Forster II

Ottaviano: Collezione Apocrifa Da Vinci, 2014

  • Commentary (Italian)
  • Limited Edition: 499 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Forster Codices: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile edition features only Codex Forster II.

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#3 Codice Forster I

Ottaviano: Collezione Apocrifa Da Vinci, 2014

  • Commentary (Italian)
  • Limited Edition: 499 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Forster Codices: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile edition features only Codex Forster I.

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#4 I Codici Forster

Florence: Giunti Editore, 1992

  • Commentary (Italian) by Marinoni, A.
  • Limited Edition: 998 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Forster Codices: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Three leather-covered boxes with gold tooling. Each box (size 250 x 360 mm) contains the facsimile and a volume printed on handmade paper and bound in Fabriano paper, with the diplomatic and critical transcrition edited by Augusto Marinoni.

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