|Leonardo, Old Man with Water Studies, c. 1513|
Leonardo described water as "the vehicle of nature" ("vetturale di natura"), believing water to be to the world what blood is to our bodies.
|Leonardo, End of the World|
(Windsor, Royal Library, 1515)
|Leonardo, Storm over an Alpine Valley|
(Windsor, Royal Library, c. 1499)
"Water is sometimes sharp and sometimes strong, sometimes acid and sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and sometimes thick or thin, sometimes it is seen bringing hurt or pestilence, sometime health-giving, sometimes poisonous. It suffers change into as many natures as are the different places through which it passes. And as the mirror changes with the colour of its subject, so it alters with the nature of the place, becoming noisome, laxative, astringent, sulfurous, salty, incarnadined, mournful, raging, angry, red, yellow, green, black, blue, greasy, fat or slim. Sometimes it starts a conflagration, sometimes it extinguishes one; is warm and is cold, carries away or sets down, hollows out or builds up, tears or establishes, fills or empties, raises itself or burrows down, speeds or is still; is the cause at times of life or death, or increase or privation, nourishes at times and at others does the contrary; at times has a tang, at times is without savor, sometimes submerging the valleys with great floods. In time and with water, everything changes"
|Leonardo, Study of water passing obstacles, c. 1508-9|
~ from H2O - The Mystery, Art, and Science of Water