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A Treatise Of Painting, By Leonardo da Vinci. Translated from The Original Italian, And adorn'd with a great Number of Cuts. - To which is prefix'd, The Author's Life; Done from the Last Edition of the French. -

Leonardo da Vinci

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Trattato della pittura., English., 1721.]

Variant Title

Books Printed for J. Senex, at the Globe in Salisbury Court, and W. Taylor, at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row.


London:: Printed for J. Senex, at the Globe in Salisbury Court; and W. Taylor, at the Ship in Pater-Noster-Row., MDCCXXI.

Physical Description

[16], 189, [19] p., frontis. (port.), 33 [i.e. 31], 2 pl. (4 fold.); 195 mm. (Octavo.)

General Note

Plates 1-33 are numbered bottom right. There are no plates numbered 22, 27, 30, but a bis plate 26. In addition to the 33 numbered plates there are two plates numbered Tab. I, II. The folding plates are Tab.I, II and pl. 18.


[Frontis., t.p., dedic.] - The Translator's Preface - The Life Of Leonardo Da Vinci - [Text, with pl.] - Errata - Index - Books Printed for J. Senex ... and W. Taylor ...

Responsibility Note

The plates are unsigned. The book is dedicated by the publisher, John Senex, to Sir Thomas Hanmer.


ESTC, T174885
K.T. Steinitz, Leonardo da Vinci's Trattato della pittura: a bibliography (1958).
Farago, Claire (Ed), Re-Reading Leonard: the treatise on painting across Europe, 1550-1900. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009. ISBN: 9780754665328

Summary Note

The selected notes from Leonardo called 'Trattato della pittura' were first printed in Italian and French in Paris in 1651. Most plates show naked human figures, but pl. 31 and 32 show clothed figures, pl. 21 shows a horse, plates 23, 26, 26 bis, 28 and 29 show buildings, and pl. 33 shows a landscape. Tab. I and II show a variety of schematic figures. The frontispiece is a portrait of Leonardo.


[First copy:] Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802). [Second copy:] Inscribed in ink on front pastedown 'Presented by Mrs Jordan 1965' and inscribed in ink on front loose endpaper, 'L.A. Jordan' (i.e. Louis Arnold Jordan, Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Academy 1958-1962). The front pastedown of the second copy carries two booksellers' labels, one reading 'W.J. Sackett Bull St. Birmingham Books Bought Or Exchanged' [is this Walter Sackett?], the other, 'Foyles Charing Cross Rd. London WC2 Catalogues Free We Allow More For Books Bearing This Label'.

Binding Note

[Second copy:] 18th century calf, upper and lower covers blind-stamped with rectangular panels; rebacked in 1988 by Anthony Wessely, retaining earlier red morocco spine-label lettered 'Leonardo On Painting'.

Name as Subject


Painting - Drawing - Theory - Techniques
Painting - Drawing - Italy - 15th century - Renaissance
Treatises, Italian - Italian literature - Italy - 15th century
Catalogues, Booksellers' - Great Britain - 18th century
Treatises - Translations into English - Translations from Italian - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


John Senex, publisher
Taylor, W, publisher
Sir Thomas Hanmer, dedicatee
Louis Arnold Jordan, previous owner
Mrs. Louis A. Jordan, previous owner, donor
Anthony Wessely, binder
Walter Sackett, bookseller?
William Alfred Foyle, bookseller
Foyles, bookseller