The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, inventor, engineer and scientist, but he also found time to write little fables for himself. In the margins of his notes he would pen short tales of how pride and envy would bring down a moth, tree or even a stone.

wolf-and-eagle-650x374The Wolf and the Eagle

Ever since Aesop’s Fables was written in ancient Greece, people have been sharing these short stories that illustrate a moral truth. They were popular in medieval times as well, with many writers explaining how misfortune stuck men, animals, insects and even plants and rocks.

These fables are found in Leonardo’s notebooks from the years 1487 to 1494, when he was working in the service of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.  They were written in the margins, perhaps as little notes to amuse or remind himself while he worked on bigger projects. Leonardo seems to have been interested in nature and finding examples of how various creatures would cause their own doom. –  via Medievalists.net

For examples of these fables, more images and link to all of Leonardo da Vinci’s fables, and those of other Italian writers in Renaissance Fables, translated by David Birch – see http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/30/fables-leonardo-da-vinci/

and  Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci”

    1. It really is fascinating – his output is so incredible! It seems he could turn his hand to anything. I have a copy of the book about his notebook and I get the impression he had so many ideas in his head that he tried to manifest them outwardly at every opportunity, no matter what he was working on at the time and that he may have included in that work as a reminder to himself. I feel that we will still be discovering more and more of his notes and ideas in some form or another in the future, that have been right there in front of our eyes all along but have yet to be discerned or acknowledged for what they are. What a true genius.

      Like

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