LEONARDO REDUX

AN EXHIBITION BRILLIANTLY DISPLAYS HIS SCIENTIFIC GENIUS, THANKS TO A MODERN MEDICI

Even for a duke of cyberspace like Bill Gates, the price seemed steep. In 1994 he paid the estate of oil baron Armand Hammer $30.8 million for one of Leonardo da Vinci's lesser notebooks. Compared with the Renaissance master's other surviving manuscripts, Codex Leicester (named for the English family that owned it for two centuries) is trifling, just 18 sheets of linen paper folded in half to produce 72 pages. It contains only modest samples of Leonardo's celebrated draftsmanship--no spectacular drawings of flying machines, no cutaways of the human anatomy or exploded views of geared gadgetry. Still, Microsoft's billionaire boss surely...

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