Study of an Artificial Wing is a drawing of Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus. Codex Atlanticus is the largest collection of drawings by Da Vinci, and it has been preserved since 1637 in Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana of Milan. It consists of 119 drawings compiled in over 40 years (1478-1519) and it is characterized by various themes: from astronomy to art, philosophical meditations, recipes, hydraulic studies, optics, mathematics and war machines.
This drawing represents one of Leonardo’s inventions of flying machines. On the left there is a large artificial wing, the protagonist of the composition and around it there are some mechanical details and on the right there is a strap system that would attach the wings to the human body. Above the drawing there is a series of notes which were probably added afterward; the master wonders why water, once flown in the rivers, can rise again passing under the ground.
Here the flying equipment is represented in one of its simplest forms, as the wings are directly attached to the human body with straps. The drawing reflects his continuous flow of ideas, studies, notes as well as his brilliant and eclectic mind.
Pedretti C., Leonardo da Vinci. Fragments at Windsor Castle from the Codex Atlanticus, London 1957;
Pedretti C., The Codex Atlanticus of Leonardo da Vinci. A Catalogue of its Newly Restored Sheets, Part One, Vol. I-VI, New York 1978;
Marinoni A., Il Codice Atlantico, in Leonardo all’Ambrosiana.Il Codice Atlantico. I disegni di Leonardo e della sua cerchia, a cura di A. Marinoni e L. Cogliati Arano, Milano 1982;
AA.VV., Leonardo da Vinci. Il Codice Atlantico della Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano, trascrizione critica di Marinoni A., presentazione di Pedretti C., Tomo III, Firenze 2000, p. 1595;