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Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.
——達文西 (Leonardo da Vinci)
Leonardo da Vinci’s Thoughts on Art and Life
原文作者：Leonardo da Vinci
本書內容主要選自珍藏於法國學院圖書館 (Bibliothèque de lInstitut de France)及義大利米蘭盎博羅錫安納圖書館 (Biblioteca Ambrosiana) 當中的多卷珍貴達文西手稿筆記，文中紀錄達文西對於自然、生命、科學、繪畫及藝術的觀點。
李奧納多・達文西 Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
〈思考生命〉(THOUGHTS ON LIFE)
I discover for man the origin of the first and perhaps of the second cause of his being.
Recognizing as I do that I cannot make use of subject matter which is useful and delightful, since my predecessors have exhausted the useful and necessary themes, I shall do as the man who by reason of his poverty arrives last at the fair, and cannot do otherwise than purchase what has already been seen by others and not accepted, but rejected by them as being of little value. I shall place this despised and rejected merchandise, which remains over after many have bought, on my poor pack, and I shall go and distribute it, not in the big cities, but in the poor towns, and take such reward as my goods deserve.
All knowledge which ends in words will die as quickly as it came to life, with the exception of the written word: which is its mechanical part.
Just as iron which is not used grows rusty, and water putrefies and freezes in the cold, so the mind of which no use is made is spoilt.
Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.
Truth was the only daughter of time.
Wrongly men complain of experience, which with great railing they accuse of falsehood. Leave experience alone, and turn your lamentation to your ignorance, which leads you, with your vain and foolish desires, to promise yourselves those things which are not in her power to confer, and to accuse her of falsehood. Wrongly men complain of innocent experience, when they accuse her not seldom of false and lying demonstrations.
There is nothing which deceives us as much as our own judgement.
The greatest deception which men incur proceeds from their opinions.
What is that thing which is not defined and would not exist if it were defined? It is infinity, which if it could be defined would be limited and finite, because that which can be defined ends with the limits of its circumference, and that which cannot be defined has no limits.
Just as courage is the danger of life, so is fear its safeguard.
Every loss which we incur leaves behind it vexation in the memory, save the greatest loss of all, that is, death, which annihilates the memory, together with life.
〈思索藝術〉(THOUGHTS ON ART)
Painting includes in its range the surface, colour and shape of anything created by nature; and philosophy penetrates into the same bodies and takes note of their essential virtue, but it is not satisfied with that truth, as is the painter, who seizes hold of the primary truth of such bodies because the eye is less prone to deception.
Poetry surpasses painting in the representation of words, and in the representation of actions painting excels poetry; and painting is to poetry as actions are to words, because actions depend on the eye and words on the ear; and thus the senses are in the same proportion one to another as the objects on which they depend; and on this account I consider painting to be superior to poetry. But since those who practised painting were for long ignorant as to how to explain its theory, it lacked advocates for a considerable time; because it does not speak itself, but reveals itself and ends in action, and poetry ends in words, which in its vainglory it employs for self-praise.
Painting reveals itself immediately to thee with the semblance given it by its creator, and affords to the chief of the senses as great a delight as any object created by nature. And the poet in this case reveals the same objects to the brain by the channel of the hearing, the inferior sense, and affords the eye no more pleasure than it derives from anything which is related. Now consider what a difference there is between hearing the recital of a thing which in the course of time gives pleasure to the eye, and perceiving it with the same velocity with which we apprehend the works of nature. And in addition to the fact that a long interval of time is necessary to read the works of the poets, it often occurs that they are not understood, and it is necessary to make diverse comments on them, and it is exceedingly rare that the commentators are agreed as to the meaning of the poet; and often the readers peruse but a small portion of their works, owing to lack of time. But the works of the painter are immediately understood by those who behold them.
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