Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) is arguably the most famous painter, scientist and inventor of the Italian Renaissance. What is less well known however is the extraordinary philosophy that can be said to govern all his work: that the task of the painter is not merely to replicate the appearance of things in his paintings but rather to recreate the forms that that nature creates in the world.

This lecture aims to put Leonardo’s artistic production in context by explaining how his paintings, drawings, and scientific experiments are all  governed by a quest to discover the underlying principles that he believed to govern all forms. It demonstrates how all of Leonardo’s art can be understood as a form of science, and how his approach to science was governed by his artistic concerns.

Reading List

Leonardo : Martin Kemp  – Oxford University Press

Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man – Oxfords University Press

Leonardo on Painting :  Martin Kemp and Margaret Walker – New Haven and London