Art: Empirical Queen of the Sciences

"Let no man who is not a mathematician read my work," Leonardo da Vinci once wrote—a warning that applies to the 50 pages of his drawings, mostly "technical," on view at the National Museum of History and Technology in Washington, D.C., this month. It is the largest group of Leonardos yet seen in the U.S., or indeed anywhere in the world since the miraculous show of the royal family's Leonardo collection at Buckingham Palace in 1969. It accompanies an ambitious publishing project—the McGraw-Hill five-volume facsimile of the so-called Madrid codices: two recently...

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