Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna of the Rocks, Louvre

No theme recurs so incessantly, and with such central import, both in the Leicester Codex and throughout Leonardo's writing, as the causal and material unity of the body's microcosm and the earth's macrocosm. -----------Stephen Jay Gould, Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and The Diet of Worms

Man has been called by the ancients a lesser world, and indeed the term is rightly applied, seeing that if man is compounded of earth, water, air and fire, this body of the earth is the same; and as man has within himself bones as a stay and framework for the flesh, so the word has the rocks which are the supports of the earth; as man has within him a pool of blood wherein the lungs as he breathes expand and contract, so the body of the earth has its ocean, which also rises and falls every six hours with the breathing of the world [the tides]; as from the said pool of blood proceed the veins which spread their branches through the human body, in just the same manner the ocean fills the body of the earth with an infinite number of veins of water. -------------------------------------------------Leonardo Da Vinci, The Leicester Codex