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With Leonardo’s Own Marginal Notes

Giorgio Martini, Francesco di. Trattato di architettura. Manuscript on vellum (Codex Ashburnham 361 of the Laurentian Library, no. 282). Supposedly Urbino, Court of Federico da Montefeltro, c. 1480. C. 14¾ × 10 in (374 × 254 mm). IV, 54, VI ll. and – in vol. III – 4 ll. “Fogli Reggiani” (Ms. Regg. A.46.9.bis, Reggio Emilia, Biblioth. Municip.). Facsimile edition in the original size and colours. With transcriptions + commentaries by Pietro C. Marani and Massimo Mussini resp. in Italian (fol., XXVIII, 130 pp., 1 l.; 28 pp., 2 ll.). 1994. Together 3 parts. Orig. hand-bound brown half leather vols. with gilt vignette on front-boards and title on the back in joint illustrated cloth box.

First Complete Edition of the Trattato Codex of the Laurenciana (its first facsimilation took place in 1979) and the Fogli Reggiani with its 44 drawings on ancient and contemporary military machinery as the original final chapter of the Codex Ashburnham discovered in the early ’90s only and published here for the first time.

This milestone of architectural theory

of Italian renaissance by the famous architect, sculptor and painter from Siena preserved in a few codices only. Here now the copy belonged to the immortal Leonardo, quite possibly presented to him by Francesco himself in Milan in 1490. But even more, the codex is

the only book known to have come down to us

directly from Leonardo’s own library ,

on 7 pages additionally enriched by totally

12 one or multi-lined marginal notes by own hand

as proof of him analyzing its content so complementary to his own work. That is the organic representation of civil and military architecture, city planning, hydraulics, theatres, columns, monasteries, bells, and centrally-planned churches. And all richly illustrated. The Codex Ashburnham is now supposed to be Francesco’s first version. It slightly differs from the Turin Codex Saluzziano 148 which is now considered as being the revised and reworked second version.

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