You Can Now View Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks Online

Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Most people know Leonardo da Vinci from his paintings, but the artist also had the mind of an engineer, as evidenced by the hundreds of pages he used to sketch out his inventions. Now, two of the notebooks he left behind are being made available for the public to view. As The Art Newspaper reports, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has published a digitized version of Codex Forster I online.

Codex Forster I—named for John Forster, who donated the book to the museum in 1876—is a bound volume consisting of two of Leonardo's personal notebooks. Dated from 1487 to 1505, it contains both the earliest and the most recent Leonardo da Vinci notebooks in the V&A's collection.

The contents feature some of the artist's inventions related to hydraulic engineering, including devices for digging canals and adjusting water levels, as well as his thoughts on measuring solids. The text is written in "mirror-writing"—which means all the letters and words are backwards and can only be deciphered when held up to a mirror. Because he was left-handed, this method of writing allowed Leonardo to write quickly without smudging the ink.

On the Victoria and Albert Museum's website, visitors can now take their time browsing and zooming in on the pages of Codex Forster I. Uploading the notebooks made them accessible to a global audience, but that's not the only reason they were digitized: Having an online version means the museum can focus on preserving the physical copy for centuries to come, instead of handing it off to researchers and shortening its lifespan.

The two other Leonardo notebook volumes in the V&A's collection, Codex Forster II and III, haven't received the web treatment yet, but the museum plans to make them fully viewable online sometime in 2019.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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In Bordeaux, France, a Former Nazi Submarine Base Has Been Transformed Into a Digital Art Gallery

Culturespaces
Culturespaces

When it opened on June 10, 2020, the Bassins de Lumières in France became the largest digital art gallery in the world. But history buffs may be more interested in the site's background than the art it contains: Before it became an art gallery, the concrete space held a fleet of Nazi submarines during World War II, Smithsonian reports.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bassins de Lumières's spring 2020 opening date was delayed to June. Now guests can visit and see the works of painters Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, and Egon Schiele digitally projected over the concrete structures. U-boat pens, reaching up to 300 feet long and 36 feet high, are now canvases for colorful portraits, landscapes, and abstract scenes. The water filling the space's four basins reflects the artwork from below, while visitors look down from walkways woven throughout the 130,000-square-foot space.

The base looked very different in the 1940s. Nazi Germany constructed it off the coast of Bordeaux as a place to keep its submarines safe from enemy attacks during repairs. The site was abandoned in 1944, but because it's so enormous, the city of Bordeaux decided it would be cheaper to keep it than to tear it down.

Several decades later, the defunct bunker has been given new life. Culturespaces, the organization behind the project, spent more than $15 million transforming the base into a multimedia art gallery. After showcasing the current roster of painters for the rest of the year, the space will feature new artists in 2021.

Culturespaces art gallery.

Culturespaces art gallery in France.

Art gallery in Nazi submarine base.

[h/t Smithsonian]