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The Artist’s Course of Study


with hail and bearing hither and thither an infinite number of branches torn from the trees mixed together with numberless leaves. All around let there be seen ancient trees uprooted and stripped by the fury of the winds; let there be seen fragments of mountains which have already been scoured bare by their torrents fall into these very torrents and choke up their valleys; until the swollen rivers overflow and submerge the wide lands with their inhabitants. Again you might see on many of the mountain-tops many different kinds of animals huddled together, terrified and subdued to tameness in company with men and women who had fled there with their children. And the waters which cover the fields with their waves are in great part strewn with tables, bedsteads, boats, and various other contrivances improvised through necessity and fear of death, on which are women and men with their children uttering lamentations and cries terrified by the fury of the winds which are causing the waters to roll over and over in mighty hurricane, bearing with them the bodies of the drowned; nor was there any object lighter than the water but was covered with different animals who had made a truce and stood together in terror, among them being wolves, foxes, snakes, and creatures of every kind—fugitives from death. And all the waves that beat against their sides were striking them with blows from various bodies of the drowned, blows which killed those in whom life remained. You might see groups of men with weapons in their hands defending the small spots that remained to them from the lions, wolves, and beasts of prey which sought safety there. Ah! what dreadful screams were heard in the dark air rent by the fury of the thunder and the lightning it flashed forth which darted through the clouds bearing ruin and striking down all that withstood its course! Ah, you might see many stopping their ears with their hands in order to shut out the tremendous sounds made in the darkened air by the fury of the winds mingling with the rain, the thunders of heaven, and the fury of the thunderbolts! Others, not content to shut their eyes, laid their hands over them, one above the other to cover

Leonardo da vinci  
Leonardo da vinci