Quote Originally Posted by mark
Interesting quote from Da Vinci.
I just reread the quote. Are you sure he wasn't saying: If you paint only by the rules you have not accomplished anything.

I am not sure if he is releiving the readers of the encumberance of knowledge. I think he is was saying that for the knowledge to be useful that it must be used in conjunction with intuition.
I take the Da Vinci quote as applying to the "creative" - conception part of the "art" process - The part that Helen Van Wyk called the "What to do"; aesthetic - driven; as opposed to the "easy" part (relatively) or "How to do" as in "technique".
I'm not suggesting anything like a distinct boundary between the two; they are, to some extent, interdependent. I think it does contain the admonition of, "the artist Must recognize the necessity of freedom - and that the rules exist as tools to be used whenever the human being (a.k.a. "artist") chooses to use them."

Itten commented on Da Vinci - carrying *his* interpretation somewhat farther: he characterizes the slavish adherence to, "That which we can define - and understand", as a burden - and that intuition was of greater importance - not exclusive the only consideration, but more important.

Itten offers that as a moderation of "The Elements of Color", which really analyzes the living daylights (Hah! How's that for a simile!) out of color and its effect on human perception - coldly, clinically and with few areas left open to "In My Humble Opinion."