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Madrid Codices (Vol. II)

  • Madrid Codices (Vol. II) © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Madrid Codices (Vol. II) © Biblioteca Nacional de España





1491 - 1505


Leonardo da Vinci

Cultural background


Original title

Codices Madrid (Vol. II)
Spanish National Library

Of outstanding artistic and documentary value, this is the only work in Spain that has been attributed unequivocally to Leonardo da Vinci. This is the second volume of the work.

The Madrid Codices I and II, in Leonardo's distinctive backward or 'mirror' writing, are key works in the collection of manuscripts in the National Library. These are two paper notebooks containing different contents and from different periods, although with the same size, type of binding and provenance. Both codices date from between 1491 and 1505 and contain a considerable number of drawings and ink sketches.

This codex was written in two parts, one of which was added at a later date (pages 141.157). The maps of the Arno Valley and Pisa are noteworthy for their beauty and colour. There are also drawings on architecture and military engineering, geometry, gravity, the flight of birds…

Details of the work



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