Paris, Institut de France, mss "A" to "M"

Manuscripts of the Institut de France Facsimile Edition

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The manuscripts taken in 1795 from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan to Paris by Napoleon are made up of twelve codices, designated by the letters A to M, conserved exactly as they appeared as when they were compiled. For this reason they constitute an exceptional document for studying Leonardo’s life and works. At times he concentrates on problems in geometry, physics or mechanics, while at other times his attention veers to audaciously conceived technology, intertwining autobiographical data with observations on literary and artistic questions about what ‘animates the soul’.

Enriched with masterful drawings, the smaller-sized manuscripts are pocket notebooks where, with acute perspicacity and quick sketches, the scientist records a fleeting thought, a surprising idea or a personal note. The larger notebooks have more elaborate writings and drawings containing outlines for treatises on hydraulic sciences and flying machines, architecture, optics and problems of vision, this latter topic related to the ‘science of the painter’ and found in a more developed form in his Treatise on Painting.

Binding description

Parchment, leather or cardboard

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Manuscripts of the Institut de France": I Manoscritti dell'Institut de France facsimile edition, published by Giunti Editore, 1987

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I Manoscritti dell'Institut de France

Florence: Giunti Editore, 1987

  • Commentary (English, Italian) by Marinoni, A.
  • Limited Edition: 998 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

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.


Twelve leather-covered boxes with gold tooling.

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