Monday, May 7, 2012

"Thoughts on Art and Life" by Leonardo da Vinci

The notes of Leonardo da Vinci introduced and edited by Lewis Einstein and Maurice Baring.
Free Kindle edition here.
  •  "let not thy rage or malice destroy so great a thing as life, for he who does not value it does not deserve it"
  • "That which can be lost cannot be deemed riches. Virtue is our true wealth and the true reward of its possessor; it cannot be lost, it never deserts us until life leaves us. Hold property and external riches with fear; they often leave their possessor scorned and mocked at for having lost them."
  • "the age which flies glides by in stealth and deceives others; and nothing is more swift than the years, and he who sows virtue reaps glory."
  • "A long life is a life well spent."

  • "As a well spent day affords happy sleep, so does a life profitably employed afford a happy death."
  • "O time, consumer of things!"
  • "Patience serves against insults as clothes do against the cold; since if you multiply your clothes as the cold increases, the cold cannot hurt you. Similarly, let thy patience increase under great offenses, and they will not be able to hurt your feelings."
  • "Here is a thing which the more it is needed the more it is rejected: and this is advice, which is unwillingly heeded by those who most need it, that is to say, by the ignorant."
  • "He who offends others is not himself secure."
  • "It is ill to praise, and worse to blame, the thing which you do not understand."
  • "Threats are the only weapons of the threatened man."
  • "Ask advice of him who governs himself well."
  • "Justice needs power, intelligence and will, and is like the Queen Bee."
  • "Not to punish evil is equivalent to authorizing it."
  • "You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself."
  • "He who thinks little errs much."
  • "And if you meet with any one who is good and virtuous drive him not away from you, do him honour"
  • "the source of pleasure is labour mingled with pain, and the pain issues from the various evil pleasures."
  • "Men will pursue the thing which they most greatly fear; that is to say, they will be miserable in order to avoid falling into misery."
  • "We should not desire the impossible."
  • "they who set up for themselves a standard other than nature, the mistress of all masters, labour in vain"
  • "The first picture was a single line, drawn round the shadow of a man cast by the sun on the wall."
  • "If poetry deals with moral philosophy, painting deals with natural philosophy . . . if poetry describes the action of the contemplative mind, painting represents the effect in motion of the action of the mind"

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