Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Keene on De Ludo Schacorum

Last month I posted about an interesting new theory that Leonardo da Vinci may have been the illustrator for a book known as De Ludo Schacorum. Yesterday, Raymond Keene wrote a long piece on this same topic for The Times.

I believe that Leonardo did not draw the main corpus of puzzle diagrams for the book. However, he may well have supplied the original designs for the pieces. These are shown in array at the start of the book and they are artistically superior to the diagrams which follow in the text, which are unambitiously redrawn copies. The owners suggest that the original design for the queen, for example, is almost exactly identical to Leonardo’s design for a fountain in his so-called Atlantic Codex. Others contend this type of design could easily be generic.

And thanks to Keene, we also found a link to some online info on the now famous book. Visit www.abocamuseum.it where it looks like you can buy a replica for as much as € 2,800

1 comment:

ejh said...

It's perhaps a bit late to comment on this, more than two years on, but I came across the post after finding Pacioli's book mentioned in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (which I read last week) the insides covers of which are illustrated using diagrams from De Ludo Schacorum.

Unfortunately, Ray's optimism about Leonardo's involvement is not shared by other scholars.

Fans of Ray will be unsurprised to see that he quotes Richard Eales, and recommends his book, without mentioning that Mr Eales is married to Ray's sister.