Viola Organista Sketches from the Codex Atlanticus


Da Vinci primarily sketched the Viola Organista in the series of volumes that would become the Codex Atlanticus. This image, from page 93, shows a variety of internal mechanisms that would have been included in the instrument. Of note are the multiple showings of the foot-pedal mechanism, in the lower center and bottom-right of the page. The pedal spins an internal wheel that drives a belt, likely connected to the bowing mechanism at the terminal point. A specific bowing method is unclear here, as a variety of wheel systems are shown but not annotated closely. Roughly twenty-one keys are shown on the keyboard.

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with Viola Organista Sketches from the Codex Atlanticus


  • Leonardo da Vinci

Image Date: 

circa. 1488