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De divina proportione

Preserved at the Biblioteca Universitaria di Ginevra (ms. Langues Etrangères 210)

Collectors' facsimile of the manuscript De divina proportione, held in the University Library in Geneva (ms. Langues Etrangères 210).

Opera a tutti gl'ingegni perspicaci e curiosi necessaria. Ove ciascun studioso di philosophia:
Prospectiva Pictura & Sculptura: Architectura: Musica e altre Mathematice: suavissima, sottile e admirabile doctrina onseguirà e delecterassi con varie questione de secretissima scientia.

(Luca Pacioli)

De Divina Proportione Collectors' facsimile of the manuscript De divina proportione, held in the University Library in Geneva.

This unique and exclusive reproduction is illustrated with polyhedrons drawn by Leonardo da Vinci and superb miniatures. The original manuscript was given by Luca Pacioli to Ludovico il Moro.

Skilful graphical work has enabled virtual restoration of the treatise, thereby returning it to its original splendour and assigning it a place of honour in the best collections.
Drawn up in 1498 in the vernacular so that it could be understood and diffused as much as possible, the work is divided into four parts: in the first, after having praised the importance of mathematics, Pacioli discusses theology, philosophy and music; he introduces "divine proportion" explaining that its divine qualities are due to the fact that to us they are incomprehensible, magical and superhuman:

Commo Idio propriamente non se po diffinire ne per parolle a noi intendere, così questa nostra proportione non se po mai per numero intendibile asegnare, né per quantità alcuna rationale exprimere,ma sempre fia occulta e secreta e da lì mathematici chiamata irrationale. In the second part, he discusses Book 13 of Euclid's Elements and the genesis of the 5 regular geometric bodies. The third section describes the bodies of regular and dependent polyhedrons, and includes philosophical considerations taken from Plato's Timaeus. The last section discusses oblong bodies (pyramids, cones and parallelepipeds) and gives rules for calculating their surface areas and volumes.
The work has and will continue to rouse profound interest not only in mathematical fields, but also in the domains of painting and architecture. Only two original examples of Luca Pacioli's manuscript De divina proportioneexist in the world. One in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (ms. 170 sup), the other in the University Library in Geneva (ms. Langues Etrangères 210).

The treatise arose from the author's wish to spread understanding of the Golden Section and the new knowledge evolving in algebra and geometry at the time. The most important characteristic of the work is to bring together and explain the studies on the subjects, taking into consideration the thought of Piero della Francesca.

The Geneva treatise, the more important of the two as it was prepared as a gift to Ludovico il Moro, had never been rendered as a facsimile due to damage caused by micro-organisms, however, careful virtual restoration has enabled reconstruction of the text, its polyhedrons drawn by Leonardo da Vinci, and the superb exclusive miniatures that can now be admired in their original beauty. By taking "artistic and binding licence", Aboca Museum has substituted the modern cover of the original volume with one that, in a miniature in the work itself, is represented in the scene of the gift to Ludovico il Moro. This is a superb facsimile that holds pride of place in the best collections.



Technical description of the Collectors' facsimile

Handsewn satin stitches with cotton thread.
- Cloth backing.
- Handsewn, two-coloured headband with cotton thread on hemp core.
- Full-leather cover (vegetable-tanned calfskin) on wood boards.
- Embossed with brass plates.
- Gilt bronze metal elements.
- Size: 21.5x30.5 cm.
- ISBN 978-88-95642-49-9






 The slipcase contains not only the facsimile but also its commentary, entitled Antologia della De Divina Proporzione di Luca Pacioli, Piero della Francesca e Leonardo da Vinci




ANTHOLOGY OF DIVINE PROPORTION by Luca Pacioli, Piero della Francesca and Leonardo da Vinci Piergiorgio Odifreddi

Proportione3The theme of the anthology is divine proportion, a fascinating subject that stimulated the most brilliant minds of the Renaissance and which we still find extraordinary today. The most elevated expression of beauty to human perception, it derives from how nature expresses itself in perfect relationships in its forms, its spatial arrangements, the harmony of its colours, and in musical cadences. Modern interpretation of Luca Pacioli's figure and a focused discussion of its scientific interests are given in the book by Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Duilio Contin and Antonio Pieretti.

In this assay are included integrally also the addictions to the edition printed in the 1509 of the De divina proportione: the capital letters of the alphabet, some of the architectural tables and Piero della Francesca's treatise Libellus.

Piergiorgio Odifreddi, mathematician, populariser of scientific subjects
Duilio Contin, bibliologist, director of the Bibliotheca Antiqua of Aboca Museum
Antonio Pieretti, philosopher, expert in language and communications

divine is the title of this book,
divine the golden proportion of Pacioli,
divine the historical illustrations of Leonardo...



Technical description of the Antologia

Handmade cover with leather spine.
Hot printed.



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  • De divina proportione secondo il prof. Enrico Gamba

    06 February 2014 | Min. 12:59

  • Umbria news - "De divina proportione"

    18 October 2012 | Min. 3:21

  • Presentazione Palazzo della Vaccara (PG)

    10 November 2012 | Min. 7:14

  • De divina proportione di Duilio Contin

    27 November 2012 | Min. 4:32

  • De divina proportione di Paolo Belardi

    10 November 2012 | Min. 14:29

  • De divina proportione di Gianfranco Cavazzoni

    10 November 2011 | Min. 13:28

  • De divina proportione di Antonio Pieretti

    10 November 2011 | Min. 12:38

  • De Divina Proportione secondo P. Odifreddi (I parte)

    30 May 2011 | Min. 13:17

  • De Divina Proportione di P. Odifreddi (II parte)

    30 May 2011 | Min. 9:58

  • Video facsimile

    21 January 2011 | Min. 7:24


The works in facsimile, and all our editions can be viewed and purchased at bookstores or fiduciary Aboca www.abocashop.com on the site.
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