Section 3
The Art of War

Hired as a military engineer, Leonardo was interested in the subject and planning a treatise on it. Some of Leonardo’s drawings, such as C. A. folios 157 and 160 rectos, done in a highly finished manner, were clearly intended for this purpose. Leonardo there uses orthogonal projection to draw the bent-wood sling, keeping two of the three directional axes (height, length, and width) in proportion to provide accurate measurements. For Leonardo, however, the aesthetics of the machine were just as important as its military efficacy. This belief infuses every projects; regardless of the object’s intended function, its aesthetic form remains of crucial concern to Leonardo—be they swords (C. A. folio 366 recto) or machines (C. A. folio 13 recto).

Folio 71 verso
Folio 157 recto
Folio 160 recto
Folio 182 recto
Folio 1084 recto