Data visualizing company The Visual Agency has recently released a complete digitization of Leonardo da Vinci’s 12-volume, 1,119-page Codex Atlanticus. For the first time, the interactive application allows you to browse through every page, filled with finely-detailed sketches and scribbled notes. Exploring the extraordinary collection is like entering into the mind of the legendary Renaissance artist, engineer, and inventor.
Codex Atlanticus is the biggest collection of Da Vinci papers and it covers his entire career. It begins in 1478 (when he was working in his hometown of Tuscany) to 1519 (when he died in France). The name Atlanticus comes from the fact that Da Vinci used large sheets, similar to those used for geographic Atlases. The diverse portfolio reveals sketches and diagrams for his creative inventions such as parachutes, war machines, and hydraulic pumps. It also features his detailed architectural sketches and anatomy studies.
The digitization project was made in collaboration with the Biblioteca Ambrosiana who preserves all pages of the 500-year-old collection. The Visual Agency designed an easy-to-use, color-coded application that allows you to browse by year, subject, and topic. The makers say on their website, “The cataloging of the Codex Atlanticus is unique and will open new ways to study and experience this collection of texts and drawings and to dive into the work of one [of] the great masterminds of history.”
You can explore the complete digitized version of Da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus here. The website is in Italian, but you can click “EN” for English at the bottom-right of the screen.