Guido da Vigevano

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Guido da Vigevanos sketch of a crank wagon, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

Guido da Vigevano or Guido da Pavia (born c. 1280; died c. 1349) was an Italian physician and inventor. He is notable for his sketchbook Texaurus regis Francie which depicts a number of technological items and ingenious devices, allowing modern scholarship an invaluable insight into the state of medieval technology. Although still attached in style and spirit to the Middle Ages, Guido da Vigevano can be regarded as a distant forerunner of later Renaissance artist-engineers like Taccola, Francesco di Giorgio and Leonardo da Vinci.

Guido da Vigevano was personal physician of queen Joan the Lame (Jeanne de Bourgogne). For an envisaged crusade, he drew sketches of armored chariots, wind-propelled carriages and siege engines. He was also one of the first to add drawings of organs to his anatomical descriptions in a second treatise, The Anothomia. His sketches were typically medieval in that they lack perspectivity, invented only at the beginning of the Renaissance by Brunelleschi.

Guido created a vehicle that moved using a windmill that relayed force to gear and then to the wheels. Some consider this machine to be first car in history, or at least a forerunner.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William W. Bottorff: What Was The First Car?
  2. ^ First Car and then Some More

Further reading[edit]

  • Hall, Bert Stewart: "Guido da Vigevano's Texaurus Regis Francie, 1335", in: Eamon, William (Ed.), Studies on Medieval Fachliteratur, Brussels 1982, pp. 33–44
  • Hall, Bert Stewart, Giovanni de Dondi and Guido da Vigevano: "Notes Toward a Typology of Medieval Technological Writings", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (1978), pp. 127–142
  • Hall, Alfred Rupert: "Guido's Texaurus, 1335", in: Hall, Bert Stewart / West, Delno C. (Eds.): On Pre-Modern Technology and Science (Undena Publications), Malibu 1976, pp. 11–51
  • Hall, Alfred Rupert: "The military inventions of Guido da Vigevano", Actes du Congrès International d'Histoire des Sciences, 8, Vol. 3 (1956), pp. 966–969

External links[edit]