Memoranda before 1500.

Find Longhi and tell him that you wait for him at Rome and will go with him to Naples; make you pay the donation [Footnote 2: Libro di Vitolone see No. 1506 note.] and take the book by Vitolone, and the measurements of the public buildings. [3] Have two covered boxes made to be carried on mules, but bed-covers will be best; this makes three, of which you will leave one at Vinci. [4] Obtain the.............. from Giovanni Lombardo the linen draper of Verona. Buy handkerchiefs and towels,.... and shoes, 4 pairs of hose, a jerkin of... and skins, to make new ones; the lake of Alessandro. [Footnote: 7 and fol. It would seem from the text that Leonardo intended to have instructions in painting on paper. It is hardly necessary to point out that the Art of illuminating was quite separate from that of painting.]

Sell what you cannot take with you. Get from Jean de Paris the method of painting in tempera and the way of making white [Footnote: The mysterious looking words, quite distinctly written, in line 1: ingol, amor a, ilopan a and on line 2: enoiganod al are obviously in cipher and the solution is a simple one; by reading them backwards we find for ingol: logni-probably longi, evidently the name of a person; for amor a: a Roma, for ilopan a: a Napoli. Leonardo has done the same in two passages treating on some secrets of his art Nos. 641 and 729, the only other places in which we find this cipher employed; we may therefore conclude that it was for the sake of secrecy that he used it.

There can be no doubt, from the tenor of this passage, that Leonardo projected a secret excursion to Naples. Nothing has hitherto been known of this journey, but the significance of the passage will be easily understood by a reference to the following notes, from which we may infer that Leonardo really had at the time plans for travelling further than Naples. From lines 3, 4 and 7 it is evident that he purposed, after selling every thing that was not easily portable, to leave a chest in the care of his relations at Vinci. His luggage was to be packed into two trunks especially adapted for transport by mules. The exact meaning of many sentences in the following notes must necessarily remain obscure. These brief remarks on small and irrelevant affairs and so forth are however of no historical value. The notes referring to the preparations for his journey are more intelligible.]

salt, and how to make tinted paper; sheets of paper folded up; and his box of colours; learn to work flesh colours in tempera, learn to dissolve gum lac, linseed ... white, of the garlic of Piacenza; take ‘de Ponderibus’; take the works of Leonardo of Cremona. Remove the small furnace ... seed of lilies and of... Sell the boards of the support. Make him who stole it, give you the ... learn levelling and how much soil a man can dig out in a day.

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

Notebooks of Leonoardo da Vinci
XXII: Miscellaneous Notes.
Memoranda before 1500.
. . .