"it is not good on any church to see the roofs; indeed, let it be flat."
The model presents the project of a church which develops according to a symmetric design based on four equal axes, arranged in two groups of two, intersecting in the centre and spreading out in a radial pattern to accommodate eight chapels of different shapes. The central parallelepipedon partly embodies the volumes of the four radial chapels on the first two axes; the other four are more complex in structure. A towering hemispherical dome rests on the central drum, decorated with medallions that seem to be a reminder of Brunelleschi's architecture. The roofs are flat because, as Leonardo himself pointed out: "a nessuna chiesa sta bene vedere tetti, anzi sia rappianato" (no roofs should be seen from a church; those which are seen should be flattened out).
The model is based on the drawing:
- Manuscript B f. 18 v. (1487-1490)
Paris, Institut de France