Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Leonardo’s ink blots

with 3 comments

Sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci

I will not refrain from setting among these precepts a new device for consideration which, although it may appear trivial and almost ludicrous, is nevertheless of great utility in arousing the mind to various inventions. And this is, that if you look at any walls spotted with various stains, or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expression of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well-conceived forms. With such walls and blends of different stones it comes about as it does with the sound of bells, in whose clanging you may discover every name and word you can imagine.

Leonardo da Vinci

Written by nevalalee

August 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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3 Responses

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  1. The wood grain in my bedroom door when I was just a boy had the leering face of the big bad wolf in it. It made for a lot of sleepless nights until I noticed the lion behind him, ready to eat b. b. wolf if he tried anything too big and bad.


    August 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

  2. I think that Henry Holiday used that “device” quite consciously when illustrating Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”


    July 7, 2014 at 12:21 am

  3. I forgot to mention the link related to my previous comment:


    July 7, 2014 at 12:22 am

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