Architectural Designs.

This building is inhabited below and above; the way up is by the campaniles, and in going up one has to use the platform, where the drums of the four domes are, and this platform has a parapet in front, and none of these domes communicate with the church, but they are quite separate.

Pl. XCVI No. 1 (MS. C. A. 16b; 65a). Perspective view of a church seen from behind; this recalls the Duomo at Florence, but with two campaniles[Footnote 2: Already published in the Saggio Pl. IX.].

Pl. XCVII No. 3 (MS. B. 52a). The central part is a development of S. Lorenzo at Milan, such as was executed at the Duomo of Pavia. There is sufficient analogy between the building actually executed and this sketch to suggest a direct connection between them. Leonardo accompanied Francesco di Giorgio[Footnote 3: See MALASPINA, il Duomo di Pavia. Documents.] when the latter was consulted on June 21st, 1490 as to this church; the fact that the only word accompanying the plan is: “sagrestia”, seems to confirm our supposition, for the sacristies were added only in 1492, i. e. four years after the beginning of the Cathedral, which at that time was most likely still sufficiently unfinished to be capable of receiving the form of the present sketch.

Pl. XCVII No. 2 shows the exterior of this design. Below is the note: edifitio al proposito del fodameto figurato di socto (edifice proper for the ground plan figured below).

Here we may also mention the plan of a Latin cross drawn in MS. C. A. fol. 266 (see p. 50).

Pl. XCIV No. 1 (MS. L. 15b). External side view of Brunellesco’s Florentine basilica San Lorenzo, seen from the North.

Pl. XCIV No. 4 (V. A. V, 1). Principal front of a nave, most likely of a church on the plan of a Latin cross. We notice here not only the principal features which were employed afterwards in Alberti’s front of S. Maria Novella, but even details of a more advanced style, such as we are accustomed to meet with only after the year 1520.

In the background of Leonardo’s unfinished picture of St. Jerome (Vatican Gallery) a somewhat similar church front is indicated (see the accompanying sketch).

[Illustration with caption: The view of the front of a temple, apparently a dome in the centre of four corinthian porticos bearing pediments (published by Amoretti Tav. II. B as being by Leonardo), is taken from a drawing, now at the Ambrosian Gallery. We cannot consider this to be by the hand of the master.]

C. Studies for a form of a Church most proper for preaching.

The problem as to what form of church might answer the requirements of acoustics seems to have engaged Leonardo’s very particular attention. The designation of “teatro” given to some of these sketches, clearly shows which plan seemed to him most favourable for hearing the preacher’s voice.

Pl. XCVII, No. 1 (MS. B, 52). Rectangular edifice divided into three naves with an apse on either side, terminated by a semicircular theatre with rising seats, as in antique buildings. The pulpit is in the centre. Leonardo has written on the left side of the sketch: “teatro da predicare” (Theatre for preaching).

MS. B, 55a (see page 56, Fig. 1). A domed church after the type of Pl. XCV, No. 1, shows four theatres occupying the apses and facing the square “coro” (choir), which is in the centre between the four pillars of the dome.[Footnote 1: The note teatro de predicar, on the right side is, I believe, in the handwriting of Pompeo Leoni. J. P. R.] The rising arrangement of the seats is shown in the sketch above. At the place marked B Leonardo wrote teatri per uldire messa (rows of seats to hear mass), at T teatri, and at C coro (choir).

In MS. C.A. 260, are slight sketches of two plans for rectangular choirs and two elevations of the altar and pulpit which seem to be in connection with these plans.

In MS. Ash II, 8a (see p. 56 and 57. Fig. 2 and 3). “Locho dove si predica” (Place for preaching). A most singular plan for a building. The interior is a portion of a sphere, the centre of which is the summit of a column destined to serve as the preacher’s pulpit. The inside is somewhat like a modern theatre, whilst the exterior and the galleries and stairs recall the ancient amphitheatres.

[Illustration with caption: Page 57, Fig. 4. A plan accompanying the two preceding drawings. If this gives the complete form Leonardo intended for the edifice, it would have comprised only about two thirds of the circle. Leonardo wrote in the centre “fondamento”, a word he often employed for plans, and on the left side of the view of the exterior: locho dove si predicha (a place for preaching in).]

D. Design for a Mausoleum.

Pl. XCVIII (P. V., 182. No. d’ordre 2386). In the midst of a hilly landscape rises an artificial mountain in the form of a gigantic cone, crowned by an imposing temple. At two thirds of the height a terrace is cut out with six doorways forming entrances to galleries, each leading to three sepulchral halls, so constructed as to contain about five hundred funeral urns, disposed in the customary antique style. From two opposite sides steps ascend to the terrace in a single flight and beyond it to the temple above. A large circular opening, like that in the Pantheon, is in the dome above what may be the altar, or perhaps the central monument on the level of the terrace below.

The section of a gallery given in the sketch to the right below shows the roof to be constructed on the principle of superimposed horizontal layers, projecting one beyond the other, and each furnished with a sort of heel, which appears to be undercut, so as to give the appearance of a beam from within. Granite alone would be adequate to the dimensions here given to the key stone, as the thickness of the layers can hardly be considered to be less than a foot. In taking this as the basis of our calculation for the dimensions of the whole construction, the width of the chamber would be about 25 feet but, judging from the number of urns it contains—and there is no reason to suppose that these urns were larger than usual—it would seem to be no more than about 8 or 10 feet.

The construction of the vaults resembles those in the galleries of some etruscan tumuli, for instance the Regulini Galeassi tomb at Cervetri (lately discovered) and also that of the chamber and passages of the pyramid of Cheops and of the treasury of Atreus at Mycenae.

The upper cone displays not only analogies with the monuments mentioned in the note, but also with Etruscan tumuli, such as the Cocumella tomb at Vulci, and the Regulini Galeassi tomb[Footnote 1: See FERSGUSON, Handbook of Architecture, I, 291.]. The whole scheme is one of the most magnificent in the history of Architecture.

It would be difficult to decide as to whether any monument he had seen suggested this idea to Leonardo, but it is worth while to enquire, if any monument, or group of monuments of an earlier date may be supposed to have done so.[Footnote 2: There are, in Algiers, two Monuments, commonly called “Le Madracen” and “Le tombeau de la Chretienne,” which somewhat resemble Leonardo’s design. They are known to have served as the Mausolea of the Kings of Mauritania. Pomponius Mela, the geographer of the time of the Emperor Claudius, describes them as having been “Monumentum commune regiae gentis.” See Le Madracen, Rapport fait par M. le Grand Rabbin AB. CAHEN, Constantine 1873—Memoire sur les fouilles executees au Madras’en .. par le Colonel BRUNON, Constantine l873.—Deux Mausolees Africains, le Madracen et le tombeau de la Chretienne par M. J. DE LAURIERE, Tours l874.—Le tombeau de la Chretienne, Mausolee des rois Mauritaniens par M. BERBRUGGER, Alger 1867.—I am indebted to M. LE BLANC, of the Institut, and M. LUD, LALANNE, Bibliothecaire of the Institut for having first pointed out to me the resemblance between these monuments; while M. ANT. HERON DE VlLLEFOSSE of the Louvre was kind enough to place the abovementioned rare works at my disposal. Leonardo’s observations on the coast of Africa are given later in this work. The Herodium near Bethlehem in Palestine (Jebel el Fureidis, the Frank Mountain) was, according to the latest researches, constructed on a very similar plan. See Der Frankenberg, von Baurath C. SCHICK in Jerusalem, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins, Leipzig 1880, Vol. III, pages 88-99 and Plates IV and V. J. P. R.]

E. Studies for the Central Tower, or Tiburio of Milan Cathedral.

Towards the end of the fifteenth century the Fabbricceria del Duomo had to settle on the choice of a model for the crowning and central part of this vast building. We learn from a notice published by G. L. Calvi [Footnote: G. L. CALVI, Notizie sulla vita e sulle opere dei principali architetti scultori e pittori che fiorirono in Milano, Part III, 20. See also: H. DE GEYMULLER, Les projets primitifs etc. I, 37 and 116-119.—The Fabbricceria of the Duomo has lately begun the publication of the archives, which may possibly tell us more about the part taken by Leonardo, than has hitherto been known.] that among the artists who presented models in the year 1488 were: Bramante, Pietro da Gorgonzola, Luca Paperio (Fancelli), and Leonardo da Vinci.—

Several sketches by Leonardo refer to this important project:

Pl. XCIX, No. 2 (MS. S. K. III, No. 36a) a small plan of the whole edifice.—The projecting chapels in the middle of the transept are wanting here. The nave appears to be shortened and seems to be approached by an inner “vestibolo”.—

Pl. C, No. 2 (Tr. 21). Plan of the octagon tower, giving the disposition of the buttresses; starting from the eight pillars adjoining the four principal piers and intended to support the eight angles of the Tiburio. These buttresses correspond exactly with those described by Bramante as existing in the model presented by Omodeo. [Footnote: Bramante’s opinion was first published by G. MONGERl, Arch. stor. Lomb. V, fasc. 3 and afterwards by me in the publication mentioned in the preceding note.]

Pl. C, 3 (MS. Tr. 16). Two plans showing different arrangements of the buttresses, which seem to be formed partly by the intersection of a system of pointed arches such as that seen in [the following]

Pl. C, No. 5 (MS. B, 27a) destined to give a broader base to the drum. The text underneath is given under No. 788.

MS. B, 3—three slight sketches of plans in connexion with the preceding ones.

Pl. XCIX, No.1 (MS. Tr. 15) contains several small sketches of sections and exterior views of the Dome; some of them show buttress-walls shaped as inverted arches. Respecting these Leonardo notes:

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.
. . .