The Specular writing

LEONARDO DA VINCI ( 1452-1519)


Specular writing is handwriting that is written from right to left ( left-handed writing), and therefore can be only deciphered by means of a mirror.

It is well-known that the direction of the writing in the western world is right-handed, that is, it starts from left and heads towards right. The handwriting of the Arabic world is left-handed.

This concerns the general tendency of the direction, but - we have to say - that in the expression of the graphical gesture coexist some movements towards right and others towards left that, in their alternation, determine , for example, the presence of curved and wide shapes, and centrifugal or centripetal tracings.

The fact that a writing goes towards left instead of right, signals a precise " behavior" with motivations of psychical and mental order as it is illustrated by Max Pulver, in his famous book "The symbolism of the writing". The drawing up of the writing is subordinate, in its symbolic expression, to the " force" of four carriers : high - low , left - right. The writer in accordance with the own personal history of relationships with the outside, in a biological and cultural combination, projects ,through the own graphical shapes, "himself", occupying and prefering in the graphical space those "zones", high - low, left - right.

The left assumes the symbolic meaning of the beginning - the Ego - the origin - the past - the family, while the right takes the symbolic meant of You ( the other peoples) - the future - the external world - that that is disowned.

Pulver asserts that it is characteristic of the western world ( right handed writing) the movement towards You, towards the outside, to expand, " to or power..", while the Arabic writing ( left handed) emphasizes the tendency to return to the origin, to passed values, or to meditative aspects.

The specular writing drawn up , like saying, from right towards left it provokes curiosity and questions. If it is drawn up by a right handed man appears , from the physiological point of view, a not natural movement as it doesn't that centrifugal gesture.

The most famous case of specular writing is , no doubt, that one of : LEONARDO DA VINCI.

To consider this particular handwriting we must reflect on his cultural time . In the Leonardo's writing there is the expression of the search of aesthetically perfect gesture in the way to avoid the usual repetition of one calligraph style.

Leonardo's writing contains rhythm and movement and a remarkable sense of the space and the shapes. The alternation of unequal shapes in a harmonic context signals the continuous creative production in accordance with intelligence so as to carry out the intuitions. The instincts and the emotional contents are melded so as to conduct this personality in a dynamic way.

This concerns the graphological analysis but the fascination that Leonardo's writing emanates has produced a lot of studies and theories.

Once, some people believed the Leonardo's writing was only for expedience; to make his writing, the "Codici",more specially reserved.

Today, instead, recent studies incline for the thesis that Leonardo was suffering from "dyslexia" . It is known that this doesn't affect intelligence.

Dyslexia is a disturbance that affects children of normal intelligence and without hearing problems , that is revealed in reading and writing difficulty . There is especifically an inability to translate sounds into graphical symbols. Children affected by dyslexia confuse the letters and write them backwards or put them in the mistaken order.

Such inability is due to a " lazy " zone of their brain that doesn't recognize with normal quickness the specific sound of each letter, beyond specific psychological causes. Through phonetic rehabilitation children can again start normal studies.

In the Leonardo's writing we can find some characteristics of dyslexia .



The handwriting of Leonardo da Vinci


See other examples of Leonardo's writing on the italian version


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