Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Confluence: Dabbling in the Waters of Leonardo da Vinci

"Water is the driving force in nature."

~Leonardo da Vinci~

Leonardo daVinci, Notes on the Movement/Physics of Water.

 Confluence: (n) a flowing together or meeting of two or more things at a common point.

Leonardo daVinci is confluence personified: an artist, scientist, inventor, engineer, musician, and architect with a constant sense of questing.

Leonardo was fascinated with water, wanting to comprehend it's nature, properties, how it shaped nature, and how to control and use it. Water inspired his art/music, science, sense of wonder, and his urge to invent and engineer.

He often compared the flow of water to the flow of blood, rivers to veins, and used these workings to understand both systems better.

daVinci, Studies of Water Moving, 1508-09.

Leonardo studied and sketched water throughout his life, one of his early sketches shows his study of the Arno River (Italy), including the movement of water. Other sketches and notes show his scientific approach to understanding water.

Leonardo daVinci, 1473, Study of a Tuscan Landscape, Arno River.

Da Vinci mapped water as it impacted people:

(click maps for larger images)

 and landscapes:

Many of his inventions and engineering studies dealt with water:

 and how we could potentially *capture* it.

My personal favorite?
How could it not be

da Vinci's underwater breathing device?

 Do you have a favorite?

Leonardo daVinci also explored expressing music through *capturing* water, here is a peek at the NOVUS build of the water organ designed daVinci (Chuck Zimmerman's YouTube):

A version  of the water organ that you can hear *playing*, built by Joaquin Saura following daVinci's sketches, plans and discussion found in the Madrid Codex II at the National Library in Madrid (Joaquin Saura's YouTube).

Leonardo da Vinci also used water to help capture some of his more symbolic and fantastical musings:

Leonardo's Allegory of Bull, Wolf, and Eagle.

Leonardo's sketch Neptune, 1504-05
 Da Vinci's association with water is something that I think many of us feel, a connection.
I'll leave you with a some final thoughts from da Vinci, 2 quotes:

" Water is sometimes sharp and sometimes strong, sometimes acid and sometimes bitter, 
sometimes sweet and sometimes thick or thin, sometimes it is seen bringing hurt or pestilence, sometime health-giving, sometimes poisonous. It suffers change into as many natures as are the different places through which it passes. And as the mirror changes with the colour of its subject, 
so it alters with the nature of the place, becoming noisome, laxative, astringent, sulfurous, salty, incarnadined, mournful, raging, angry, red, yellow, green, black, blue, greasy, fat or slim. 
Sometimes it starts a conflagration, sometimes it extinguishes one; is warm and is cold, 
carries away or sets down, hollows out or builds up, tears or establishes, fills or empties, 
raises itself or burrows down, speeds or is still; is the cause at times of life or death, 
or increase or privation, nourishes at times and at others does the contrary; at times has a tang, 
at times is without savor, sometimes submerging the valleys with great floods. 

In time and with water, everything changes. "

~ ~ ~

" The body of the earth is of the nature of a fish ...  
because it draws water as its breath instead of air. "

Leonardo da Vinci- 15 April, 1452 to 2 May 1519.

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