• Leonardo Studies

Leonardo Studies

01.12.1997

Kim H. Veltman

Review:

Leonardo da Vinci. Corbis Reveals the Mysterious Writings of the Original

Renaissance Man. Bellevue: Corbis, 1996, MCN Spectra, vol. 25, no. 2, Winter 1997/98, pp. 48-49.
(Not for Export. For Distribution within North America Only). CD ROM.

This CD-ROM is a splendid tribute to both the potentials and problems of multimedia. It is an edition of one Leonardo’s manuscripts, the Codex Leicester, complemented by many other materials, which show how multimedia can help contextualize historical documents. There is a time line with four parallel streams to provide the viewer with Leonardo’s biography, major events in history, art and discoveries of the period from 1400 to 1550. There is a virtual gallery of Leonardo’s major paintings, his chief manuscripts, samples of his drawings concerning nature (17), engineering (17), and studies (4), as well as three lost works and twenty pertinent historical documents.

There are introductions by Oxford Professor Martin Kemp, and Bill Gates himself. Five tours, which are effectively mini-lectures, introduce us to the Life of Leonardo, the Life of the Master, his Treatise on Nature, the Body of the Earth, Of the Waters and the Heavens. These tours are supplemented by six exhibits entitled: Changing World, Engineering Water; Sun, Moon and Earth; Elements in Balance; Nature of Water and Light and Colo(u)r. The contents of the tours and exhibits draw substantially from Professor Kemp’s award winning book, Leonardo da Vinci. The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man, (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981). There is a guide to introduce us to principles of navigation, which are easy to use and fairly intuitive. There is a list of credits and all of these elements are referenced in an home page in an elegant tree form. For those unfamiliar with the Renaissance this CD offers a beautiful introduction.


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