LEONARDO KNOWS BASEBALL


What does Leonardo da Vinci know about baseball? A remarkable amount it turns out. In this accordion book Leonardo's drawing lessons about how to draw the human figure are accompanied by Charles Hobson's pastel/monotypes of baseball players in action. The juxtaposition shows how contemporary Leonardo's observations were and how timeless the game of baseball is. Originally published as a limited edition of twenty copies with original color etchings, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, published a trade book edition in 1991. Though out-of-print, it is available at $95 a copy through the Artist.

The accordian design invites the reader to follow the sequence of a play on the field: Pitch, Hit, Run, Field, Call

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As regards the movement of the arms and legs, you should bear in mind that when you wish to represent a man who by some chance has either to turn backwards or to one side, you must not make him move his feet and all his limbs in the same direction that he turns his head. Rather you should show the action proceeding by degrees and taking effect over the sets of joints; that is, those of the foot, the knee, the hip and the neck.

Leonardo, 1481

Draw the poses of people and the parts of their bodies so as to display the intent of their minds. 

Leonardo, 1483

The first picture was nothing but a simple line drawn around the shadow of a man made by the sun on a wall.

Leonardo, 1498

It is also good every so often to go away and relax a little for when you come back to your work your judgment will be better, since to remain constantly at work causes you to deceive yourself.

Leonardo, 1503

A picture or representation of human figures ought to be done in such a way that one who sees them may easily recognize from their attitudes what is passing through their minds. So if you have to represent a good man in the act of speaking let his gestures accord with the integrity of his words; and similarly, if you wish to depict a brutal man, make him with fierce movements flinging out his arms.

Leonardo, 1510