The Society was founded by the late Kenneth Keele, who combined a distinguished career in medicine with important research into the work of Leonardo. Officers have included Sir Ernst Gombrich and Martin Kemp. It is notable that, while all three scholars could correctly be described as experts on the work of Leonardo, none of them was or is a specialist on Leonardo in the sense of carrying out research only into the work of Leonardo. That, of course, also tells one something about Leonardo.
The Leonardo da Vinci Society is well established as providing a forum for those interested in Leonardo or more generally in the aspects of the culture of his time to which he contributed. The Society's interests also extend to the Art/Science overlap in other periods (due account being taken of the historical evolution of both the terms concerned). See recent reviews and publications in the newsletter. ^
The Leonardo da Vinci Society would welcome new members. To become a member, complete and post the membership form PDF or MS Word document. If you pay income tax in the UK, please also consider completing the Gift Aid portion of the membership form. To view the pdf form, you may need Adobe Reader, available here. For further information about membership, please contact one of the following committee members:
President, Dr J. V. Field, Department of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD, UK; tel & fax +(44) (0)20 7736 9198, email: jv.field(at)hist-art.bbk.ac.uk.
Vice President and Newsletter Editor, Professor Francis Ames-Lewis, Department of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College; home address: 52 Prebend Gardens, London W6 0XU, UK; tel & fax +(44) (0)20 8748 1259, email: f.ames-lewis(at)hist-art.bbk.ac.uk.
Secretary and Treasurer, Mr Tony Mann, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; The University of Greenwich; Maritime Greenwich University Campus, 30 Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, UK; tel. +(44) (0)20 8331 8709, fax: +(44) (0)20 8331 8665, email: a.mann(at)gre.ac.uk.
Publicity, Web Management and Newsletter Editor, Dr Matthew Landrus, Research Fellow, Wolfson College, History Faculty, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX2 6UD, UK, and at the Rhode Island School of Design; UK tel 0753 094 2043; US tel (001) (401) 374 4159; email: matthew.landrus(at)history.ox.ac.uk.
Dr Monica Azzolini, School of History, Classics & Archeology; University of Edinburgh; William Robertson Building, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JY, UK; tel. +44 (0)131 650 9964, fax: +44 (0)131 651 3070, email: m.azzolini(at)ed.ac.uk.
Dr Juliana Barone, Department of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD, UK; email: juliana.barone(at)btinternet.com.
Ms Noël-Ann Bradshaw, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; The University of Greenwich; Maritime Greenwich University Campus, 30 Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, UK; tel. +(44) (0)20 8331 8454, fax: +(44) (0)20 8331 8665, email: n.bradshaw(at)gre.ac.uk.
Dr Jill Burke, School of Arts, Culture and Environment; University of Edinburgh; 20 Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JZ, UK; tel. +44 (0)131 650 4124, fax: +44 (0)131 650 8019, email: jill.burke(at)@ed.ac.uk.
Dr Frank A.J.L. James, Royal Institution Centre for the History of Science and Technology, Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1X.4BS, UK; email: fjames(at)ri.ac.uk.
The Leonardo da Vinci Society is a registered charity, no 1012878. ^
Within the history of art Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519) represents 'science' and within the history of science he represents art.
On the trivial level this means that many art historians take it for granted that his anatomical or optical drawings are correct (that is, in accord with twentieth-century views) while historians of science are sometimes at least equally impressionable, being dazzled by the beauty of the drawings with which they are confronted.
In Leonardo's work we are seeing into a culture in which academic specialisations make a map very different from that of our own time, and in which, moreover, there is a considerable degree of social separation between a tradition of university learning, and a tradition of practical skills, despite a notable degree of overlap in subject matter. Nor is the advantage all to the person who is 'learned' in the sense of having university training or being able to read Latin. For instance, in Italy, when it comes to geometry or arithmetic, we may not assume that the fifteenth- or sixteenth-century 'scholar' knew more than the 'craftsman'. Also, the practical tradition fares better than the theoretical one in providing lasting monuments to skill. The dome of Florence cathedral (nearly finished when its designer, Filippo Brunelleschi, died in 1446) now looks much more impressive than fifteenth-century astronomical theories - and not only to non-specialists.
Since history of art is a better established discipline than history of science, Leonardo has in fact chiefly been studied from the art side, though (for instance) his innovatory methods of illustration, such as his use of an 'exploded' view, clearly had an influence well beyond the realm of what would now be called fine art.
newsletter containing news, reviews and bibliographies. Suggestions of material, such as forthcoming conferences, symposia and other events, exhibitions, publications and so on, that would be of interest to members of the Society for inclusion in this Newsletter should be sent to: The Editor, Leonardo da Vinci Society Newsletter, 52 Prebend Gardens, London W6 0XU, UK; tel & fax +(44) (0)20 8748 1259; email: f.ames-lewishist-art.bbk.ac.uk. ^
The 2013 AGM will be on Friday, 10 May at 5:30 pm at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House.
At 6 pm, Dr Alexander Marr (University of Cambridge) will discuss:
Dr Marr will discuss Walther Ryff and the imago contrafacta in relation to treatises on anatomy, medicine and the mechanical arts. Especially at issue will be Ryff's 'disingenuous ingenuity' in his pillaging and reworking of others' verbal and visual matter, with additional interest in his appropriation of the legacy of Durer in 1540s Nuremberg.
A poster is available here.
The lecture will be free and open to the public. Previous annual lecture announcements are available here.
The print above is from: Walther Hermann Ryff, Der Architectür fürnembsten, notwendigsten, angehorigen mathematischen vnd mechanischen Künst, 1558. ^
The Universal Leonardo web site (www.universal leonardo.org) is a resource on Leonardo da Vinci. Universal Leonardo is a programme of European exhibitions, scientific research and web resources on Leonardo organised by Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Art ad Design, the University of the Arts London. Universal Leonardo is co-directed by Prof Marina Wallace, Central Saint Martins, and Prof Martin Kemp, University of Oxford. Highlights of the web site include an interactive timeline at the top of each page visualising the thematic links and interconnections in Leonardo's works over time; images revealing scientific analyses results carried out on The Madonna of the Yarnwinder (The Lansdowne Madonna); interactive games; a gallery of more than 100 zoomable images of Leonardo's works and exhibition details. ^
This is a significant update to a book published in 2010 by Pascal Cotte and Martin Kemp, on an exceptional portait on vellum executed in inks and coloured chalks. This article offers evidence of the original location of the portrait in the Warsaw Sforziad. Beginning its journey as a German 19th-century pastiche in 1998, the portrait on vellum is now considered one of the works by Leonardo, about which we know most in terms of its patronage, subject, date, original location, function and innovatory technique. The article is here. ^
ART AND SCIENCE IN THE ITALIAN
It is essentially due to what today's historians would regard as an ill chosen set of categories that Leonardo, that is his historical persona, has become a symbol for the meeting of Art and Science, though his activities are indeed unusually multifarious even by the standards of his own time. However, if the categories of Art and Science are defined in twentieth-century terms, Leonardo's work does indeed span them, and since 1990 the Leonardo da Vinci Society has organised an annual series of one-day conferences, in partnership with the Society for Renaissance Studies, on the general theme 'Art and Science in the Italian Renaissance'.
Topics treated have included anatomy, optics, engineering, maps, proportion, botany, Vitruvian studies and music. The liveliness of the discussions has tended to confirm that the Society is providing a useful opportunity for the meeting of minds, and helping historians of science, medicine, engineering, architecture and art to bridge the gaps that, since Leonardo's time, have opened up between the disciplines in which he took an active interest. Notes about previous meetings are in the Society newsletters and archives. ^
Organised jointly by
10.00 Registration10.30 Introduction (Martin Clayton, Royal Library, Windsor)
10.40 Morning session (Chair: Martin Clayton)
John Henderson (Birkbeck, University of London)
11.40 Domenico Laurenza (bgC3 Seattle / Kirkland and Museo Galileo, Florence)
12.20 Helen King (Open University)
14.30 Afternoon session (Chair: Peter Abrahams, University of Warwick)
Francis Wells (Papworth Hospital, Cambridge),
15.10 Kenneth Wise (Wycombe and Stoke Hospitals, Oxford Region)
15.40 Sachiko Kusukawa (Trinity College, Cambridge)
16.40 Martin Clayton (Royal Library, Windsor)
17.20 Questions and general discussion
17.45 Close of Study Day
18.00 Visit to the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist
A poster of the programme is here.
The Leonardo da Vinci Society is a registered charity, number 1012878. ^
Re-Reading Leonardo: The Treatise on Painting across Europe, 1550-1900, edited and introduced by Claire Farago, Ashgate, 2009. Available at Ashgate and Amazon.
Rise of the Image: Essays on the History of the Illustrated Art Book, edited by Rodney Palmer and Thomas Frangenberg, Ashgate, 2003. Available at Ashgate and Amazon.
Le armi e le macchine da guerra: il De re militari di Leonardo, by Matthew Landrus, Disegni di Leonardo dal Codice Atlantico 5, DeAgostini, 2010. Available on request from the author and at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
The Correspondence of Michael Faraday, edited by Frank A.J.L. James, Volumes 1-6, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 1991-2011. Available at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Amazon.
The Invention of Infinity: Mathematics and Art in the Renaissance, by J.V. Field, Oxford University Press, 1997. Available at Amazon.
Isabella and Leonardo: The Artistic Relationship Between Isabella D'Este and Leonardo Da Vinci, by Francis Ames-Lewis, Yale University Press, 2012. Available at Amazon.
Leonardo da Vinci and his circle: drawings in British collections, edited by Martin Kemp and Juliana Barone, Giunti, 2010. Available at Giunti.
Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings and Drawings, by Frank Zollner and Johannes NathanSpringer, 2003, 2011. Available at Amazon.Leonardo: Studies of Motion, by Juliana Barone, Disegni di Leonardo dal Codice Atlantico 8, DeAgostini, 2011. Available at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
Lezioni dell'occhio, Leonardo da Vinci discepolo dell'esperienza, by Martin Kemp, Vita e Pensiero, 2004. Available at LibroCo.
Reactions to the Master: Michelangelo's Effect on Art and Artists in the Sixteenth Century, edited by Francis Ames-Lewis and Paul Joannides, Ashgate, 2003. Available at Ashgate and Amazon.
Re-Reading Leonardo: The "Treatise on Painting" Across Europe, 1550-1900, edited by Claire Farago, Ashgate, 2009. Available at Ashgate and Amazon.
Rethinking the High Renaissance (Visual Culture in Early Modernity), edited by Jill Burke, Ashgate, 2012. Available at Ashgate and Amazon. ^