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The Violetta –  The Cyrptoscopium
Leonardo da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance man, was not only a visionary artist, but also a brilliant inventor and engineer. Among his countless innovations, da Vinci’s mirror writing technique stands as a testament to his ingenuity. This method, which involves writing in reverse, from right to left, so that the text can only be read when reflected in a mirror, was often employed by da Vinci in his personal notebooks.

It is theorised that  Da Vinci’s fascination with mirrored script lead him to design a Cyrptoscopium device to encode the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript,  believed to have been penned by the fifteenth-century monk Father Bruni.

Bearing similarities to the kaleidoscopes we know today. This cylindrical instrument, constructed from polished brass, was intricately designed to manipulate light and reflection to unveil hidden messages.

Also known as ‘The Violetta’ it consisted of multiple angled mirrors and lenses, carefully arranged to create a series of reflections and refractions. When the  Manuscript is placed beneath the device, the kaleidoscopic effect reveals hidden patterns and words within the text, bringing clarity to the previously unintelligible script. The innovative device remains an impressive feat of Leonardo da Vinci’s boundless creativity and curiosity.

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