four and twenty minds

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Ill LEONARDO DA VINCI 'Philosophieren ist vivificieren." —Notalis. Historians affirm with a surprising unanimity that in the Year of Grace 1452 there was born in the town of Vinci a child who received the fair name of Leonardo, and became famous throughout Italy and beyond the Alps. And they go on to tell how he was taken to Florence and apprenticed to Andrea del Verrocchio, how he began to paint with marvelous skill, how he went to the court of Milan—and many other things which the reader surely knows much better than I. If he doesn't, he may find them duly set forth by the said historians—from the beloved unknown writer of the Gaddi manuscript, or the popular Vasari (equally famous for his horrible frescoes and his extraordinary misinformation), down to the latest biographers of Leonardo, whom I will not even name, lest I seem too erudite. But my Leonardo is not the Leonardo of the historians. Their Leonardo, Ser Pietro's son, who lived his mortal life from 1452 to 1519, I gladly leave to all those honest men who turn to history for facts, and worship documentary evidence. For myself I have fashioned another and a different Leonardo. And since he is my creation, I love him the more, like a dutiful father, and am very fond of his company. I don't mean to say that the Leonardo of the historians is to be forgotten. If I had had the luck to live in his generation, it would not have been hard for me to regard him as the dearest of my friends. And since he loved the spirits of those who seek, perhaps he would have taken me with him on some of his thoughtful walks among those Tuscan hills that gladden his canvases with their pale azure. And he would have talked to me, in his clear, rich voice, of his anatomical researches and his architectural plans. Some day, perhaps, ...
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