Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


The Codex Hammer of Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Codex Hammer of Leonardo da Vinci
  • 22-Mar-1986 - 25-May-1986
  • Central Court, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

The Codex Hammer, formerly the Codex Leicester, is a manuscript by the famous Italian Renaissance painter and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci (1452- 1519) and owned by Dr. Hammer. Leonardo compiled the manuscript probably between 1506 and 1508 in Florence and Milan; some additions may have been made as late as 1510. Leonardo's notes and more than 300 illustrations treat the subject of water extensively, and include ideas on astronomy, light, mechanics, hydraulics, technology, physical geography, geology, and paleontology. He recorded his observations, questions, theories, challenges to existing ideas and conclusions in the Codex. According to Leonardo scholar Carlo Pedretti, the Codex originally functioned as a kind of file for the artist. It is composed of 18 sheets of paper with notes written in Italian from left to right. Leather bindings from the 17th and 18th centuries are also displayed. This exhibition is made possible by the Armand Hammer Foundation and Occidental Petroleum Corporation.