SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Page from the Codex Atlanticus (1480) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) illustrating a bellows-operated suction pump and a man using a drawing instrument to sketch an armillary sphere in correct perspective. The pump, operated by hand-driven bellows draws up water which is discharged into a container. The device includes a non-return valve. Leonardo did much research in hydraulics and devised a practical bilge pump for use with boats. In the sketch the seated man is using a “prospettografo” (or perspectograph), a device for drawing perspective based on Alberti's Frame. In Della Pittura (1435) Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) wrote the first treatise on the laws of perspective. Leonardo considered its use was mainly for complex subjects such as the armillary sphere shown here that required accurate perspective.
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