THE HABITAT Nairobi National Park lies to the south-southeast of the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, where the Athi Plains meet the Eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley. These plains form part of the semi-arid highland plateau lying between the coast and the Rift Valley. Both the city itself, and the Park bordering it, are a meeting place of two generally distinct types of landscape and climate. While to the east-southeast are semi-arid plains with grasslands and scattered trees, the western-north western parts are higher, hilly, cooler, more humid and support lush forests. The combination of latitude-a little over one degree south of the Equator -and altitude-average of 1600 m. (5000-5500 ft.) -combine to give Nairobi a most equable climate where the temperature varies during the year between about 11 degrees and 27 degrees centigrade (mean minimum and mean maximum for eight years). However, considerable changes are usually experienced within each day and a rise from 14 degrees C at 0600 hours to 22 degrees at 1100 hours is not unusual. Nairobi Park has a unique concentration of wild animals living in their natural habitat less than 10 km. from the centre of a modern city of half a million people. The only interference with the natural course of events in the Park is that normally required for the proper management of a game park, such as maintenance of roads and dams, and, in this particular case, partial fencing towards the city.
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When Leonardo da Vinci made his will, nine days before his death, he bequeathed all his manuscripts and drawings to Messer Francesco da Melzi, gentleman, of Milan, "in remuneration of grateful services done to the testator." Melzi transported his treasures to his residence at Vaprio, where, fours years afterwards, he died. His heirs set little store by the writings of the great painter, and suffered thirteen bound volumes and the "drawings in the garret" to be taken away as valueless. Some of these drawings fell into the hands of the Earl of Arundel, and are now in the Royal Collection at Windsor. Many of the others, after frequent changes of proprietorship, were presented to the Ambrosian Library at Milan.
At the close of the eighteenth century, there were in this library thirteen volumes of Leonardo's, including the celebrated "Codice Atlantica," a book of huge size, containing 1750 sketches which had been collected by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni of Arezzo.
In 1796, Bonaparte seized these books and sent them to Paris, where they were placed in the Bibliotheque de l'Institut. After the Peace, in 1815, the "Codice Atlantico" was returned to the Ambrosian Library. The other twelve volumes still remain in Paris.
In the year 1651, a selection from these manuscripts of such passages as relate to the Art of Painting, came into the possession of Raphael du Fresno, who published them in the original Italian under the title of "Trattato della Pittura," accompanied by a series of engravings from outline drawings by Nicolas Poussin (to which shadows and backgrounds were added by Errard), and a set of geometrical designs by Alberti. In the same year, the work was translated into French by Roland Freard, Sieur de Chambray, and issued with the same plates.
In 1721, a translation into English--it is not known by whom--was published in London, and in 1796 another edition was printed, which was soon exhausted; for in the year 1802, Mr. John Francis Rigaud, a member of the Royal Academy, undertook to translate the work afresh, and to re-arrange the whole book so as to make it easier to reference; careful indexes were given, and the plates were re-engraved. This edition lasted till 1835, when a new one was issued by Messrs. Nichols and Son, to which was added a Life of Leonardo by Mr. John William Brown. This gentleman had the privilege of constant admittance not only to the private library of his Imperial and Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Tuscany, but also to his most rare and valuable collection of Manuscripts in the Palazzo Pitti, where he was permitted to copy from the original documents and correspondence whatever he conceived useful to his subject. He was enabled to produce what was then the most trustworthy Life of Leonardo that had ever appeared.
The 1835 edition of the "Treatise on Painting" has long been scarce. It is now reprinted, and the more recent facts which have been discovered concerning the life of Leonardo, and a full account of his manuscripts and his acknowledged paintings have been added.
Nicolas Poussin's drawings and Alberti's designs are reproduced, and great pains have been taken to make Leonardo's work as useful as possible to students of Art.About the Author:
Translated by John Francis Rigaud, illustrated by Nicholas Poussin with a life of Leonardo and an account of his works by John William Brown
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Book Description Springer, 1973. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 852000537