Libro di Bottega : the blog of the contrivers
Courtesy of the Aerial Contrivance Workshop.
At about the age of 15 Leonardo da Vinci began his apprenticeship to Andrea Verrocchio and entered Verrocchio’s workshop or bottega. The bottega produced paintings and sculptures and a vast variety of other objects – armor , church bells, architectural models and plans, banners for festivals, theatrical costumes and sets, and much much more. But more importantly the bottega was a meeting place of ideas.
From The Science of Leonardo by Fritjof Capra:
The Bottega was a meeting place where lively discussion of the latest events took place daily. Music was played in the evenings; the master’s friends and fellow artists dropped by to exchange plans, sketches, and technical innovations; traveling writers and philosophers visited when they passed through the city…to learn novel techniques and discuss new ideas.
All apprentices were required to keep a “workbook” or libro di bottega. A journal of drawings, procedures, reflections, solutions and ideas. Updated, annotated, and corrected the libro di bottega was a daily record of the activities in the workshop. The precursor of Leonardo’s notebooks.