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The aim of the paper is to draw an outline of historiography referred to Leonardo’s studies on hydraulics. The philological approach has given way to a specific reconstruction of the sources (manuscripts and codices) and subjects studied and developed from the 17th century onwards which, however, is by no means exhaustive. In particular, the works of scholars such as Giambattista Venturi, Jean Paul Richter, Gerolamo Calvi, Pierre Duhem have been analysed, focusing on elements and topics they examined thoroughly, taking into consideration the different sources adopted as starting points.
The Treatise studied by Carusi and Favaro in 1923 and the Exhibition dedicated to Leonardo in Milano in 1939 are present as well as the many essays realized in the Thirties by Filippo Arconati and Carlo Zammattio which provided a basis for the studies in the Fifties. It was in this period that art historians started to understand the relationship between the scientific researches and the works of art made by Leonardo, paving the way for the interesting essays by Kenneth Clark, Ludwig Heydenreich and, above all, those written by Ernst Gombrich.In the last decades there have been innumerable publications dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, but very few referred to the specific and technical field of hydraulics, as the new critical edition of Del moto et misura dell’acqua.