Leonardo da Vinci – Nature and Architecture


The second volume of Leonardo Studies explores a dual theme of nature and architecture, offering a wide-ranging overview of current Leonardo scholarship on these two abundant subjects. While Leonardo worked on his Treatise on Painting, he noted that understanding the physical properties of nature must precede individual projects of painting or designing buildings. The volume begins with the Trattato, and follows with physics, geology, painting that imitates architectural structure and vice-versa, and proceeds to architectural projects, questions of attribution, urban planning, and and the dissemination of Leonardo’s writings in the Trattato and its historiography. This impressive group of articles constitutes not only new research, but also a departure point for future studies on these topics.

Contributors are: Janis Bell, Andrea Bernardoni, Marco Carpiceci, Paolo Cavagnero, Fabio Colonnese, Kay Etheridge, Diane Ghirardo, Claudio Giorgione, Domenico Laurenza, Catherine Lucheck, Silvio Mara, Jill Pederson, Richard Schofield, Sara Taglialagamba, Cristiano Tessari, Marco Versiero, and Raffaella Zama.

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Constance Moffatt, Ph.D. (1992), UCLA. Professor Emeritus of Art History, Los Angeles Pierce College. Her interests and publications are on the Sforza family of Milan, Vigevano, architectural history, and Leonardo da Vinci, She is Editor-in-Chief (with Sara Taglialagamba) of the Leonardo Studies series.

Sara Taglialagamba, Ph.D. (2010), Siena University, is Co-Director of the Rossana & Carlo Pedretti Foundation and a Post PhD at EPHE at Sorbonne (Paris). She has published many articles and books on Leonardo, including I cento disegni più belli di Leonardo with Carlo Pedretti.
“This volume provides a broad and rich discussion of the artist from a variety of viewpoints. It is enhanced with numerous color illustrations, detailed footnotes, and a bibliography. […] the patient reader will find much that is novel and illuminating within these pages, and come away looking forward to the next installment in the Leonardo Studies series.”
Caroline Hillard, Wright State University. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (Summer 2021), pp. 580–582.

Matthew Landrus, University of Oxford. In: The Art Newspaper, No. 318 (December 2019), p. 15.


List of Figures

Part 1
Natural Properties and Nature
 1 The Treatise on Painting as a Guide to Nature: Light and Color

Janis Bell
 2 Experimenting and Measuring Natural Powers: a Preliminary Study on Leonardo’s Ways to Quantify the Intensity of Percussion

Andrea Bernardoni
 3 The Weight of Water
Paolo Cavagnero
 4 Leonardo and the Whale
Kay Etheridge
 5 Geology and Anatomy in the Sixteenth–Nineteenth Centuries: Some Suggestions towards a Comparative Analysis
Domenico Laurenza
 6 Leonardo’s Brambles and Their Afterlife in Rubens’s Studies of Nature
Catherine H. Lusheck
 7 “Under the Shade of the Mulberry Tree”: Reconstructing Nature in Leonardo’s Sala delle Asse
Jill Pederson

Part 2
 8 Leonardo, St. Jerome, and the Illyrians’ Church in Rome

Marco Carpiceci and Fabio Colonnese
 9 Idea and Authorship in Renaissance Architecture
Diane Yvonne Francis Ghirardo
 10 A Humanistic Debate in Renaissance Milan surrounding the Tiburio of the Duomo, from Filarete to Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci
Claudio Giorgione
 11 Leonardo and Architecture in the Critical Views of Giuseppe Bossi (1808-1810)
Silvio Mara
 12 Aspects of Church Design from Brunelleschi and Alberti to Leonardo and Bramante
Richard Schofield and Cristiano Tessari
 13 Leonardo’s edifici d’acqua
Sara Taglialagamba
 14 Leonardo’s Town Planning Studies: the Encounter of Nature, Economy and Politics
Marco Versiero
 15 Ludovico il Moro and the Dynastic Homeland as the “Ideal City”: Cotignola in the Opinion of Leonardo and Luca Pacioli
Raffaella Zama

Bibliography 385
All scholars, researchers, librarians and students interested in the Leonardo da Vinci's scholarly and artistic activities will enjoy reading these incisive new studies. Undergraduate and graduate students, academics, Leonardo scholars, and general readers will find more in-depth information on the science and theory of Leonardo than is generally found. Keywords: Renaissance architecture, nature studies, percussion, physics, drawing, female architectural patronage, Sala delle Asse, Sforza, Treatise on Painting, Cathedral of Milan, town planning, Cotignola, Rubens and Leonardo, weight of water.
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