Architectural Designs.

This edifice is inhabited [accessible] below and above, like San Sepolcro, and it is the same above as below, except that the upper story has the dome c d; and the [Footnote: The church of San Sepolcro at Milan, founded in 1030 and repeatedly rebuilt after the middle of the XVIth century, still stands over the crypt of the original structure.] lower has the dome a b, and when you enter into the crypt, you descend 10 steps, and when you mount into the upper you ascend 20 steps, which, with 1/3 braccio for each, make 10 braccia, and this is the height between one floor of the church and the other.

Above the plan on the same sheet is a view of the exterior. By the aid of these two figures and the description, sections of the edifice may easily be reconstructed. But the section drawn on the left side of the building seems not to be in keeping with the same plan, notwithstanding the explanatory note written underneath it: “dentro il difitio di sopra” (interior of the edifice above)[Footnote 1: The small inner dome corresponds to a b on the plan—it rises from the lower church into the upper— above, and larger, rises the dome c d. The aisles above and below thus correspond (e di sopra come di sotto, salvoche etc.). The only difference is, that in the section Leonardo has not taken the trouble to make the form octagonal, but has merely sketched circular lines in perspective. J. P. R.].

Before leaving this group, it is well to remark that the germ of it seems already indicated by the diagonal lines in the plans Pl. LXXXV No. 11 and No. 7. We shall find another application of the same type to the Latin cross in Pl. XCVII No. 3.

2. Churches formed on the plan of a Latin cross.

We find among Leonardo’s studies several sketches for churches on the plan of the Latin cross; we shall begin by describing them, and shall add a few observations.

A. Studies after existing Monuments.

Pl. XCIV No. 2. (MS. B. 11b.) Plan of Santo Spirito at Florence, a basilica built after the designs of Brunellesco.—Leonardo has added the indication of a portico in front, either his own invention or the reproduction of a now lost design.

Pl. XCV No. 2. Plan accompanied by the words: “A e santo sepolcro di milano di sopra”(A is the upper church of S. Sepolcro at Milan); although since Leonardo’s time considerably spoilt, it is still the same in plan.

The second plan with its note: “B e la sua parte socto tera” (B is its subterranean part [the crypt]) still corresponds with the present state of this part of the church as I have ascertained by visiting the crypt with this plan. Excepting the addition of a few insignificant walls, the state of this interesting part of the church still conforms to Leonardo’s sketch; but in the Vestibolo the two columns near the entrance of the winding stairs are absent.

B. Designs or Studies.

PL. XCV No. 1. Plan of a church evidently suggested by that of San Sepolcro at Milan. The central part has been added to on the principle of the second type of Group III. Leonardo has placed the “coro” (choir) in the centre.

Pl. XCVI No. 2. In the plan the dome, as regards its interior, belongs to the First Class of Group IV, and may be grouped with the one in MS. B. 35a. The nave seems to be a development of the type represented in Pl. XCV No. 2, B. by adding towers and two lateral porticos. [Footnote 1: Already published in Les projets primitifs Pl. XLIII.]

On the left is a view of the exterior of the preceding plan. It is accompanied by the following note:

Taken from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci edited by Jean Paul Richter, 1880.

Notebooks of Leonoardo da Vinci
XII: Architectural Designs.
. . .
On the proportions of a court yard.
On the dispositions of a stable.
Decorations for feasts.
. . .